Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jasper County, Georgia:: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

March 24th, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Tree – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

Periodically areas of the Oconee WMA and the Piedmont NWR are burned to remove the undergrowth and control against the damage that would be done by uncontrolled wildfires. When we visited the area on March 10th some areas had been recently burned and the ground was black with grasses just beginning to grow back. On this visit, grass carpeted the forest floor and other plants were starting to grow again.

The woodlands that had been burned.

Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern). Bracken fern is usually viewed as a less-desirable plant but is quite beautiful in the Spring.

A closer view

Bracken ferns grow in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern) grows in the Northern hemisphere including throughout the United States and Georgia.

Chrysogonum virginianum (Green-and-gold). Green-and-gold was the first wildflower to grow back. Several patches were growing near the road.

A closer view

A close-up of an individual bloom.

Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) is native to the United States and grows from New York State to Louisiana. In Georgia, it grows in various counties in Georgia mostly in the north of the state.

It won’t be long before other wildflowers recover from the flames.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Southeastern Flora:

- Chrysogonum virginianum
- Pteridium aquilinum
(Bracken Fern)

Name that Plant:

- Chrysogonum virginianum (Green-and-gold)

- Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern, Brake)


University of North Carolina Herbarium:

- Chrysogonum virginianum

- Pteridium aquilinum

USDA Plants Database:

- Chrysogonum virginianum

- Pteridium aquilinum
(Western Brackenfern)

Related Posts
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

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