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.
( Magnolia virginiana )
Sweetbay Magnolia, Silver Bay, Swamp Bay, taken on December 19, 2008.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland
Sweetbay Magnolia is a graceful evergreen to semi-evergreen, wide columnar tree, growing to a mature height of 15 to 45 feet. This member of the Magnoliaceae family seems to glimmer in the wind due to the whitish-gray undersides of the leaves, thus giving it the common name of Silver Bay. Sweetbay is a more petite version of the familiar Magnolia grandiflora, distinguished by its smaller flowers, and smaller, thinner leaves.~ ~In Georgia, Magnolia virginiana usually retains its leaves throughout the winter, but north of zone 7 it becomes a deciduous tree. Thus this native stands out in the Georgia winter habitat when many trees and shrubs have lost their leaves. The creamy-white, lemon-scented flowers appear from May through September, and are followed by small red seeds which are used by a variety of wildlife.~ ~Sweetbay grows in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist, rich, organic soils and tolerates wet and boggy soils. Because of its soil preferences, it is found along streams and swamps.
Common uses for this plant include: Excellent specimen tree for lawns or tall multi-stemmed shrub for shrub borders. Use in foundation plantings, near patios or on the periphery of woodland areas. Will grow in wet soils such as those found in low spots or near pondsstreams.