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Indigenous Flowers in Georgia
Rosa laevigata
Cherokee Rose







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Indigenous Flowers of Georgia and Its Specie Varieties

If you are looking for beautiful flowers, Georgia is the right place for you. Georgia is home to an estimated 46 indigenous flowers that grow out in the wild. Indigenous flowers Georgia blooms in many ranges of different shades and colors.

From the month of April to October, expect to be graced with beautiful blooms of Twin Flower or the Oblong-leaf Snakeherb. This particular indigenous flower bears lavender flowers that are trumpet-shaped. The sand hills and the pinelands are the natural habitats of Oblong-leaf Snakeherb.

A daisy-like flower with shades of bright yellow known as the Early Coreopsis or the Lobed Trickseed also blooms from the month of April through May. Flowers of this particular specie spread on the ground through its runners. There’s also the Blue Dogbane otherwise known as the Eastern Bluestar with clustered star-shaped flowers of sky blue.

Georgia also has indigenous flowers that bloom around the fall season. There’s the Climbing Aster with its abundant pinkish flowers. This shrub blooms its indigenous flowers from the month of September all throughout November. From August to the month of September, you’ll find an indigenous flower alternatively called as the Large Blazing Stare or the Devil’s bite which belongs to the Aster family. This specie of flower has spikes of cluster ray-heads with the shade of pink to lavender.

Other indigenous flowers of the Aster family are the White Bushy Aster which has ray flowers of the shade of white to pale lavender or disk flowers of brown shade to pale yellow. It blooms abundantly around marshy habitat such as the Great Lakes ‘til the month of October. While the Rough-stemmed Goldenrod bears small beautiful yellow flowers.

In the month of November, the Swamp Sunflower blooms its daisy-like flowers in colors of yellow with its end branches in shades of purple-brown. The Pale-Purple Coneflower provides the prairies with magnificent wreaths from the month of May to July. These indigenous flowers come in white to lavender flower heads that also grows on pinelands and wooded hillsides.

The Cherokee rose or the Rosa laevigata on the other hand is the official indigenous flower emblem of the state of Georgia. It was officially declared and made official in August 18, 1916 with the approval of Governor Nathaniel Harris. Georgia’s Federation of Women’s Club fully supported this event.

Cherokee rose is quite unique with an exquisite appeal. You’ll find 3 to 5 tooth-like leaves on this particular flower. This feature helps differentiate Chickasaw rose or Rosa bracteata from Cherokee rose or Rosa laevigata. It blooms early during the spring and sometimes blossoms for the second season during each year’s fall. The flower features yellow or dominant gold clusters of stamens at its center. Petals are waxy with flat-like appearance that comes in the shade of light pink with thorny green leaves.

Indigenous flowers Georgia are also in need of conservation. Some of the species of indigenous flowers found in the state of Georgia are facing rarity and even extinction. There are laws that protect the existence of these indigenous flowers and there are groups that fight to keep their existence.

Georgia is home to a wide range of beautiful flowers that grow in the wild.  These indigenous plants, grown with proper care, can also add to the splendor of backyard landscapes.
      Georgia has about 46 indigenous wild flowers with blooms ranging in colors.  Those that bloom starting in the month of April include the Twin Flower.  Otherwise known as the Oblong-leaf Snakeherb, it bears trumpet-shaped lavender flowers.  Although its natural habitats are the pinelands and the sandhills, this is easy to grow in nurseries and its flowers come out from April to October.  Another April blossom is the Eastern Bluestar, otherwise known as the Blue Dogbane, has clustered sky blue star-shaped flowers.  The Lobed Trickseed, or the Early Coreopsis, also blooms from April to May.  It has bright yellow daisy-like flowers and spreads around the ground via its runners.
      There are also some of Georgia’s indigenous flowers that bloom in late fall, such as the Climbing Aster.  It can be a shrub or a vine which bears large pinkish flowers abundantly from September to November.  The Swamp Sunflower also blooms until the month of November.  It has daisy-like flowers – yellow and purple-brown in color – at the ends of its branches.  It can adapt to moist or dry conditions.  Another of the late blooms is the Large Blazing Stare, alternatively called the Devil’s bite, of the Aster family which blooms from August to September.  It has a spike of ray-less pink-lavender heads in clusters.  Other Asters such as the Rough-stemmed Goldenrod and the White Bushy Aster bloom until October.  The former bears small yellow flowers while the latter has white or pale lavender ray flowers, or pale yellow to brown disk flowers.  The Bushy Aster can be found abundantly around the Great Lakes as it loves a sandy or marshy habitat.
      There is also the Aster that provides the prairies a magnificent wreath fro May to July – the Pale Purple Coneflower.  Aside form the prairies, they grown on wooded hillsides and pinelands.  They have lavender or white flower heads.
      However, some wild flowers indigenous to Georgia may be strikingly beautiful, but are actually poisonous if ingested.  One of these is the Great Lobelia, of the Bellflower family, which has bright blue flowers.  The root of this can cause vomiting and its leaves and seeds are also poisonous.  Also of the Bellflowers is the Cardinal Flower which is also poisonous.  It bears attractive flowers looking like flaming red spires.
      Another indigenous flower genus that can be found in Georgia which is poisonous is the Asclepias. The Swamp Milkweed and the Butterfly Weed belong to this genus.  The first bears deep pink flowers clustered on the tip of a stem.  The latter has small bright orange flowers also clustered atop a hairy stem.  Although attractive looking, the sap of some of the Asclepias can cause skin irritation and others are even fatal in toxicity.  The Butterfly Weed’s root though was used by the Indians as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments.

Indigenous Flowers in Georgia
Rosa laevigata
Cherokee Rose

The Cherokee rose or the Rosa laevigata was designated upon a joint resolution by a General Assembly to be the official flower emblem of Georgia in August 18, 1916 approved by Governor Nathaniel Harris. This was given full support by Georgia Federation of Women’s Club.

The Cherokee Indians were responsible in popularizing the plant. As the early inhabitants to the American Indian villages of the Cherokees and Creeks they became fond of the flowering plants. They find the flowers best for gardens and decorations and thus were taken as the native flower of the people group. Dr. Charles Mohr, himself, expressed the confusing part on ways and manner of how a plant or flower is being introduced, officially becomes native or naturalized by a certain locality.

There are however, legends that speak of the origin of the Cherokee rose. This was the period when the Cherokee mothers were deeply grieved because their children could not survive during their journey. The so called Trail of Tears took place in 1838. The leaders of the tribe ardently prayed to the spirits for strength to go on and successfully finish their travel to their new land. As their tears fell to the ground during late afternoons and throughout the night, they were astonished to see white roses the next morning. History speaks that the white colour of the rose represented their tears and the golden centre were that of the Cherokee lands. The seven leaves on the rose undoubtedly symbolized their seven clans. Today, the flowers bloom in Oklahoma where the said Trail of Tears took place.
Thorny but with vibrant green leaves, the rose has its own unique and exquisite appeal. There are at least 3 tooth liked leafs of the flower and sometimes more than five. This determines and differentiates it from Chickasaw Rose or the Rosa bracteata. With a dominant gold or a cluster of yellow stamens at the centre, Cherokee rose flourishes at early spring. There is sometimes a second season for the flower to blossom in the fall of each year. Blooming season are usually short between March and April. Their waxy white petals appear to be flat and can have at least up to five of them in one flower. Sometimes they come in light pink.
The flowers amusingly climb to certain heights with stems that can grow up to 20 feet long. Stems can take root after awhile when they are left on the ground. Thorns are mostly curved and unfriendly. They can sometimes be seen blooming along driveways, and outdoor gardens of residents at Coastal Plains and Piedmont.
Fruits of the Cherokee rose are thick, coarse, and have pear-like shapes. There are other species that grow in Japan and China.

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