The 2015 pilgrimage marks the 46th year of the annual celebration of Georgia’s rich assortment of native flora, some of the most diverse in the nation. During the three-day event, botanists both amateur and professional will fan out in several “field trips” from Dahlonega to explore a variety of mountain habitats — from stream banks crowded with mountain laurel and rhododendron to blue-shrouded vistas of high altitude granite outcrops.
Most of the habitats are north of Dahlonega within the 750,000-acre Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia’s largest public land preserve. A few are at altitudes nearly 4,000 feet.
Some field trips will be to destinations with familiar names — Woody Gap, Lake Winfield Scott and Jarrard Gap, Sosebee Cove and Dawson Forest. Others will be to lesser-known spots, such as a hike to the beautiful Raven Cliff Falls.
In addition to enjoying some of Georgia’s most breathtaking natural scenery, participants expect to see a profusion of blooming wildflowers that are botanical highlights of the central mountains during early May — pink lady’s slipper; small and large yellow lady’s slipper; several mid-season trillium species, including the painted trillium; nodding mandarin; May-apple and wood betony.
The pilgrimage’s Friday and Saturday evening events include a social with book signings and a talk about the geology and natural communities of the Dahlonega region.
The Georgia Botanical Society sponsors a wildflower pilgrimage every spring to a different and interesting part of the state. Last year’s event was headquartered in Waycross and focused on the Okefenokee Swamp. “The Pilgrimage is one of Georgia Botanical Society’s most popular offerings,” said Heather Brasell, Vice President and coordinator of this year‘s pilgrimage event.
For more information visit: http://www.gabotsoc.org/?page_id=23