Native Plants

Definition: A native plant is a species that has survived in its natural habitat before European contact approximately 400 years ago

The amazing biodiversity of native plant species in the oak-hickory forests of Hall County, Georgia deserves protection. The minuscule cranefly orchid (Tipularia discolor) heralds the plea to maintain tree canopy. From "cocktail-onion-like" corm, a single green and purple leaf sprouts from Fall to Spring out of leaves decomposed by cranefly larvae. When flower spikes spring up from the leaves in late summer, the adult cranefly sucks its nectar. Birds feed on the cranefly and spread seeds of trees to sprout and grow. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and change it into oxygen. When bulldozers scoop up the surface soil of the forest, they eliminate the cranefly orchid forever and with it one source of oxygen for humans.

Our vast collection of native species plants has originated from seeds and spores marooned in the banks of the Gainesville Ridges some two million years ago with the upheaval of the earth's tectonic plates. Flora with appropriate DNA adapted to our soil, hydrology, terrain, and climate are collected in the oak-hickory forests of upper Piedmont from the northern regions of Appalachia, Ridges and Valleys, and Blue Ridges.

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