The mission of the West GA Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society is to promote the stewardship and conservation of Georgia's native plants and their habitats through education and with the involvement of individuals and organizations.
Welcome to our website! We are West GA Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting education about native flowers, trees, shrubs, vines and their role in supporting wildlife.
We are a group of native plant enthusiasts from the western counties of the southern piedmont who provide educational events on identifying and appreciating native plants. We promote the ethical use of native plants through links to nurseries who do not gather plants from the wild, our own plant propagation and in participation with the Rescue program conducted by the Georgia Native Plant Society of which we are a chapter.
We have varying activities that include participating in plant & seed exchanges between our members, field trips, guided walk & talks on local nature trails, garden tours, indoor presentations about native plants and outdoor group hikes and picnics. I hope that you will come to one of our public meetings and decide to become a member. You can check out the meetings and subjects on the Meetings & Activities Page.
If you are interested in membership please go to the Georgia Native Plant Society Membership page and be sure to select the West GA Chapter, in the dropdown, for participating in a regional chapter, under Preferences.
To contact me or to submit questions just send an e-mail to President@WGaWildflowers.org. Please add the topic of your email to the Subject line.
( Oxydendrum arboreum )
Sourwood, Sorrel tree, taken on December 1, 2004.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland
Sourwood is truly a tree with year-round interest. Finely-toothed, glossy green leaves appear in the spring. Waxy, lily-of-the-valley-like, and slightly fragrant white flowers bloom on slender, drooping, panicles in early summer. These flowers are quite attractive to bees, and Sourwood honey is a highly prized local product. The fruit capsules darken and remain well after leaf drop in the fall. Usually one of the first trees to put on a fall show, Oxydendrum arboreum leaves turn a brilliant, deep-red in early fall. It is not unusual to see the beautiful fall foliage as early as August. The gray bark on a mature tree is fissured, ridged and scaly, giving the winter landscape much needed texture. ~ ~Both the genus name, meaning sour tree, and the common name refer to the acid taste of the foliage. Sourwood is sensitive to pollution, soil compaction, and root disturbance, but experiences few insect or disease damage. A tree grown in the open will reach 30 to 70 feet
Common uses for this plant include: Beautiful flowering specimen tree with multi-season interest for lawns, patios, shade gardens or open woodland areas. Sourwood is important as a source of honey in some areas and sourwood honey is marketed locally.