Group works to preserve lilies -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Group works to preserve lilies

August 24, 2007

Whigham-- Some nature lovers from Florida's Native Plant Society have joined forces with landowners in Grady county in an effort to protect some land there.  The area is home to a unique type of flower that's rarely seen in this part of the country. 

Right now the woods might look like ones you've seen before.  But once a year, the place is transformed.  "What makes it really unique is a presence of trout lilies, which are in such abundance that there probably the largest concentration of that plant known to exist today," explains Dan Miller, an advocate for the preservation of the area.

Every February the plants bloom for just 3 or 4 weeks before disappearing in April. But while they're here, it's a beautiful sight to take in.  "The extreme concentration of the plants particularly when they're in flower creates a yellow hue over the ground of the immediate area," Miller describes.

The flower's natural range is from Pennsylvania to Northern Florida, but its extremely rare to find them in the southern end.  "They until recently, weren't even known to be in Grady county," Miller says.  So when members of the Florida Plant Society heard about the rare find, they wanted to find a way to preserve it, so they met with the county commissioners.

"We presented them a plan to use Georgia Land Conservation Program to obtain a grant to preserve the property," Miller says.  Less than 10 years old, the agency works to preserve rare plant and wildlife communities all over the state.

And that's what the goal is for the piece of property home to these remarkable plants.  "I would estimate its been many hundreds of years if not thousands of years that they've been evolving. It's just through a stroke of luck that they're with us today," Miller says.  And hopefully will be for years to come. 

The group says it will probably take 4 to 6 months to apply for and receive a grant from the Georgia Land Conservation Program.




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