July 30, 2016, 10:00 am, Georgia Botanical Society’s Annual Meeting, Blackrock Mountain State Park, Rabun County

Posted under: Meetings; North Georgia.

Blackrock Mountain State Park, Marie Mellinger Building , Rabun County

Please Note:  We will meet at the Ingles Store Parking lot at 9:30 am near the fence on the south side for carpooling to the site, since there is very litlle parking at the Marie Mellinger building in the park.  Lnda Chafin will lead a walk on the Tennessee Rock Trail which is 2.2 miles long.beginnning at 10 am. Among the plants we hope to see is Monk’s hood ( Aconitium  uncinatum,  which may be in bloom in late July. Then we will head to the Marie Mellinger Building at Noon for lunch and a short business meeting, including the election of officers.  After business, we will raise a non alcoholic toast to the Georgia Botanical Society on its’ 90th anniversary and hear a few stories about the great naturalist, Marie Mellinger, from Steve Bowling and a few other people.

Linda Chafin will conduct a book signing for her new book, The Wildflowers of Georgia which will  be available for sale.

Bring:  camera, good walking shoes, field guide and poles, notebook and pen,lunch to eat at the meeting. Note ; the society will provide a salad, fruit and cookies by Joanne as part of the celebration.

The meeting will end about 3:30 pm when members will be reunited with their cars at Ingles,

Note that you might want to take a 1 mile detour ( North on 441) to Osage Farms, a great farmers market with very fresh produce, although not organic.

 Directions to the Ingles Store in Clayton: Follow I-85 N and I-985 N/Lanier Pkwy to US-23 N /441N to Clayton. The Ingles Store is on the right side, after the BP station.  Please park along the right side fence. Car pool cars will meet you there.  If you have any questions, please contact Maureen Donohue at marinadono67@gmail.com or 770-990-7756




August 20, 2016, 9:30 AM, Summer Meadow Powerline Walk, Cherokee County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:  9:30 AM;  Note early start time.

Description:  Summer Meadow (Powerline) A powerline field provides a good opportunity to examine a number of sun-loving perennials. We should see seven species of goldenrod (Solidago), several species of sunflower (Helianthus) and asters (Symphyotrichum), mountain mints (Pycnanthemum), Rudbeckia, rosinweed (Silphium), Angelica and many others. If it gets too hot, we could wander into the nearby woods to cool off while we continue to botanize.

 Directions: We will meet at the Canton campus of Chattahoochee Tech, 1645 Bluffs Pkwy. Canton, GA 30114

Facilities:  None

 Difficulty:   Easy walking but may be hot.

 Bring: Water, sunscreen, bug spray, hat, snacks, camera, notebook and hand lens

Contact:  Ellen Honeycutt ,   ehoneycutt @bellsouth.net 678-576-5667

Saturday, September 3, 2016, Big Dukes Pond Natural Area, Jenkins County

Posted under: Southeast Georgia.

Field Trip Leader: Lisa Kruse

Description: Big Dukes Pond is a 1,800-acre Carolina bay. It contains good examples of pond cypress swamp, pond cypress savanna, slash pine-mixed hardwoods, bay swamp, and sandhill scrub communities, offering habitat for a diversity of plants and animals.  The bay supports two species federally listed as endangered, a small population of the Canby’s dropwort (Oxypolis canbyi) and one of Georgia’s largest breeding colonies of wood stork (Mycteria americana).  Other rare or uncommon species known from this site include awned meadowbeauty (Rhexia aristosa), blue maidencane (Amphicarpum muehlenbergianum), and spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata). The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division is responsible for management of Big Dukes Pond Wildlife Management Area, which is about 1,692 acres and encompasses most of the Carolina bay.

The trip will consist of two parts. In the morning we will caravan from Millen to the bay’s south side to see slash pine-pond cypress savanna, an extremely rare vegetation community and home to Oxypolis canbyi, which will be near the end of its flowering. We will observe small-scale restoration of this savanna that GA DNR is conducting. For lunch we will head for shade and then visit the bay’s eastern sand rim with gnarled hawthorne draped in lichens, and if the water level allows we will take a peak at the woodstork rookery, where much of the seminal research on this endangered species was conducted in the 1980’s. We will plan to finish up about 2 or 3 PM.

Meeting Location: 10:00 AM, McDonalds in Millen, Jenkins County, at the SW corner of the intersection of State Hwys. 17 and 25.

Bring: Lunch and plenty of water!

Walking Difficulty: Off-trail walking through the wetland will be the best way to see some of the habitats. There is potential for knee-deep water, so be prepared with boots/shoes and clothing that can get wet. You may consider chaps or other protection against snake-bite hazards. However, there is also plenty to see along old logging roads within the preserve. The level of “off-road walking” will be determined by the preferences of the group.

Bathroom Facilities: None except at McDonald’s (meeting location).

Contact: Lisa Kruse, lisa.kruse@dnr.ga.gov   Please email Lisa if you plan to attend.


September 17, 2016 – Lake Winfield Scott Fungal Foray, Union County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Trip Leader:  Bill Sheehan

Description:  This is an easy to moderate walk with some easy off-trail walking in and about Lake Winfield Scott National Recreation Area.  We will be looking for fleshy mushrooms and any other fungi we come across, both large and small.  Our emphasis will be on diversity and ecology. We have permission to collect one or two samples of what we find, which we will bring back to a central location, spread out, and review at the end.  Fungi are the primary decay organisms that cycle plants back into plants; they’re critical enablers of plant nutrition through roots; and they can be parasites or predators of plants as well.  With perhaps 4,000 species of fungi (not to mention slime molds) in the Georgia mountains, we’ll have lots to work with!  For botanists, come learn about “the rest of the story…”
Directions:  From Atlanta, take GA 400 north for about 60 miles, until it ends just south of Dahlonega.  Turn left there onto Ga Hwy 60 and take GA 60 toward and around Dahlonega.  Continue for about 15 miles on Hwy 60, heading toward Suches through the National Forest.  You will drive through Stone Pile Gap, bearing to the left at the pile of rocks to stay on GA 60. Continue uphill, crossing Woody Gap, then going downhill, passing Woody Lake on the right.  Shortly after the lake, watch for Ga Hwy 180 on the right (there is a service station/convenience store at that corner).  Turn right on Hwy 180 and go for about 4.5 miles.  Turn right into Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, stop to pay the $5 entrance fee, then continue to the parking area above the lake.

Meet At:  Park in the parking lot above Lake Winfield Scott bath house and walk back downhill to meet at the trailhead by 10:00 AM.

Facilities:  At the convenience store and at the bathhouse on the lake near the meeting site.

Walking:  Mostly easy to moderate, slow, poking about in the woods. Total distance about 1.5 miles, about 4 hours.

Lunch:  Bring to eat on trail.

Bring:  Five dollars per vehicle for entrance fee to Lake Winfield Scott (less with federal senior pass), sturdy shoes for walking, rain gear (you never know!), lunch, extra water.  A hand lens and small basket would be useful.

Contact:  Bill Sheehan, bill@productpolicy.org, 706-247-2500


Saturday, September 17, 2016, 10:00 am, Grand Bay WMA and Lake Louise, Lowndes County

Posted under: South Georgia.

 Field Trip Leader: Richard Carter

 Description: In preparation for the sedge identification workshop Sunday (September 18th), the focus of this field trip will be graminoids – especially sedges – of Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Lake Louise Field Station, with selected roadside stops between. The central feature of Grand Bay WMA is a large Carolina Bay wetland traversed by a ½ mile boardwalk providing access to a 40 foot tower with spectacular aerial views of the swamp. In open shallow marginal zones, certain areas are predominated by nearly monotypic stands of the clonal Walter’s sedge (Carex striata) while others exhibit a diverse mixture of aquatic graminoids, including three-way sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum), the spikerushes Eleocharis baldwinii and E. vivipara, the true rushes Juncus effusus, J. polycephalous, and J. repens, American cupscale (Sacciolepis striata), Rhynchospora corniculata and other beakrush sedges, and various yellow-eyed grasses, including the robust Xyris fimbriata. The shrub St. John’s wort (Hypericum fasciculatum) is also common in these marginal shallows. Extensive forested wetlands have a canopy of pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens), swamp black gum (Nyssa biflora), and red maple (Acer rubrum), and a shrub layer – often dense – of hurrah-bush (Lyonia lucida), large gallberry (Ilex coriacea), fetter-bush (Eubotrys racemosa), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and sweet-spire (Itea virginica). In deeper water, these shrubs are rooted on emergent bases of canopy trees, as are the common woody vine, coral greenbrier (Smilax walteri), and the rare climbing heath (Pieris phyllreifolia). Aquatic herbs are common in zones where the canopy is sparse and especially in deeper non-forested open-water areas where they predominate, and some are rooted on emergent bases of trees or shrubs. Common emergent or floating aquatic herbs include the graminoids jointed spikerush (Eleocharis equisetoides) and wooly bully (Scirpus cyperinus), as well as watershield (Brasenia schreberi), fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana), water-hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water-spider rein-orchid (Habenaria repens), marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata), frogbit (Limnobium spongia), various ludwigias, fragrant water-lily (Nymphaea odorata), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), and various duckweeds, mosquito fern, and the fan-shaped thallose liverwort Ricciocarpus natans. The mistletoe Phorodendron leucarpum is a common parasite on swamp black gum, and Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an abundant epiphyte. After lunch at Grand Bay WMA, we will drive to the Lake Louise Field Station, with selected stops en route to observe sedges and other roadside graminoids. Lake Louise is a 13 acre blackwater karst (lime-sink) pond, surrounded by a bayswamp forest. Lake and bayswamp are embedded in a 170 acre matrix of upland plant communities. At Lake Louise a variety of graminoids will be observed, including the rare cypress-knee sedge (Carex decomposita) along the margin of the lake and the rare two-spike finger-grass (Eustachys floridana) in the uplands.

 Location & Directions8.5 airmiles NE of Valdosta city center. Take Hwy. GA 125 (Bemiss Road) north from Valdosta toward Moody AFB. Turn right on Knights Academy Road and travel 4.9 miles east to the gate to Grand Bay WMA. The gate is on the left side of Knights Academy Road. Turn left onto the gravel road into Grand Bay WMA and travel north 0.8 mile. At the T-intersection turn left and travel west 0.1 mile to the parking area at the Robert Patton Wetlands Education Center. The Knights Academy Road gate to Grand Bay WMA is at 30.920538, -83.192793. The parking area for the Robert Patton Wetlands Education Center at Grand Bay WMA area is at 30.932697, -83.194219.

Meet At:  The parking area for the Robert Patton Wetlands Education Center at Grand Bay WMA.

Bathroom Facilities: yes

Walking Difficulty: This hike is easy to moderate.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, water, insect repellant, & hand lens.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  You may wish to bring binoculars, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Richard Carter, (229) 506-2099 [cell], (229) 244-5319 [home], (229) 333-5338 [office], rcarter@valdosta.edu

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 9:30 am, Workshop: “Learn to Love the Sedges”, Valdosta, Lowndes County

Posted under: South Georgia; Workshops.

Field Trip Leader:  Richard Carter

Description:  Complementing Saturday’s field trip (September 17th) that emphasized sedges and other graminoids, this workshop involves a hands-on survey of the taxonomy of the sedge family (Cyperaceae), with emphasis on specialized terminology and structure. Participants will dissect and analyze structure of representative species from Georgia, with emphasis on diagnostic features of the genera. Results of dissections and analytical dichotomous keys will be used to identify unknown specimens. Dissecting microscopes, equipment, and materials for dissection will be provided.

Location & Directions:  Bailey Science Center [30.850337, -83.289211], Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.  Directions: Take I-75 exit 18 east onto St. Augustine Road.  Travel east on St. Augustine Road 0.35 mile and take a left onto Gornto Road.  Travel north on Gornto Road 0.35 mile and turn right onto Baytree Road.  Travel east on Baytree Road 2.0 miles until you reach the T-intersection with North Oak Street at the Valdosta State University main campus.  Turn left onto North Oak Street.  Travel north 0.3 mile to Georgia Avenue.  Turn right and travel east on Georgia Avenue about 0.2 mile.  You will see several parking lots on your left along the north side of Georgia Avenue.  You may park in any of these lots without a parking permit on weekends.  Walk a short distance south across Georgia Avenue past Powell Hall, and you will see the Bailey Science Center, a very large three-story building just south of Powell Hall.  The workshop will be held in the General Botany Laboratory located in Room 2040 on the second floor of Bailey Science Center.  Please gather in the portico at the east (main) entrance to Bailey Science Center at 9:30 am.

Meet At:  Valdosta State University, portico at the east (main) entrance to Bailey Science Center

Bathroom Facilities: yes 

Walking Difficulty: easy

Bring: lunch with drink, snacks

Contact: Richard Carter, (229) 506-2099 [cell], (229) 244-5319 [home], (229) 333-5338 [office], rcarter@valdosta.edu


September 24, 2016, 9:30 AM (Note early time), Roadside Botanizing: Cohutta Mountains, Gilmer & Fannin Counties

Posted under: North Georgia.


Grass-of-Parnassus, Parnassia asarifolia

Meet:   9:30 am at the Pinhoti Trail Parking Area on FS90

Description: We will drive along the Forest Service roads stopping to look at flowers along the way.  There will be several short excursions form the cars, always along the road. We can expect to find several forget-me-nots (Impatiens capensis and I. pallida), grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia asarifolia), gentians (Gentianella quinquefolia and Gentiana decora), several composites, and likely a few other early fall species. Plus we may catch several typical spring plants in fruit such as Jack-in-the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and speckled wood lily (Clintonia umbellulata).

Directions: Take I-575/ GA 515 north to East Ellijay to turn left on GA 52. At ~5 mi west of the square on GA 52, turn right on Gates Chapel Rd. When pavement ends the road will fork, take Wilderness Trail/ FR 90 (dirt road to the right). At ~0.9 mi do not turn left at WMA sign for Pinhoti Trail. Continue 0.1 mi to Pinhoti Trail Parking on right on FS90.Carpooling is encouraged to

Gentianella quinquefolia,

Stiff Gentian, Gentianella quinquefolia,

minimize our parking footprint on the narrow unpaved roads.

Walking: Easy, probably all within 500 feet of cars.

Facilities: Only what nature provides.

Bring: Lunch, water, bug spray.

Leader:  Rich Reaves, 770‑827‑5186, rich.reaves@att.net

Sunday, September 25, 2016, Tallassee Forest, Athens-Clarke County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

Sunday,  September 25, 2016, 10:00am-2:00pm ,Tallassee Forest, Athens-Clarke County

Field Trip Leaders: Karen Porter and Linda Chafin

: We will visit Tallassee Forest, a 310-acre tract of land on the Middle Oconee River in northwest Athens-Clarke County. Large size, high environmental quality, and relatively little recent disturbance allow it support a diversity of native plants, wildlife, and eight of Georgia DNR’s high priority habitats: mature oak-hickory-pine forest, mesic hardwood forest, freshwater marsh, bottomland forest, canebrakes, springs and spring runs, small streams, and a medium-sized river. Of special interest is an unusual upland American holly (Ilex opaca) forest and a bottomland forest with canebrakes and minimal invasives. The utility easements are covered with diverse fall wildflowers and grasses.

Location & Directions: Tallassee Forest is off Tallassee Road in northwest Athens-Clarke County–we will meet at a nearby school and carpool from there to the Forest. From Atlanta, take I-85 north to Exit 137 – Jefferson/US Hwy 129. Drive south on US 129 for about 20 miles. Just outside Athens, turn right onto GA Hwy 10/Loop 10 South (aka “the bypass”) and drive SW about 1 mile to Exit 15 (Tallassee Rd-Oglethorpe Avenue). Turn right/west onto Tallassee Road. Proceed 4.3 miles and turn right into the  Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School parking lot. Park in the school lot. We will carpool from there to the Forest.

  10:00 am at the parking lot of Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School, 1600 Tallassee Road.

Bathroom facilities: 

Walking Difficulty:
 Moderate. We will be walking on old roads and utility easements.  Plan for at least 3½ hours of slow walking.

Lunch, snacks, and waterDress for the weather, it will probably be hot in September, and wear sturdy walking shoes or boots. You may also want to bring binoculars, hand lens, and cameras.

Linda Chafin lchafin@uga.edu or Karen Porter at karengporter@gmail.com.