Georgia, Russ Michelle, State Botanical Garden discussed on The Garden Question


Trees above them catch fire. Do you need to treat them with herbicides. Those serve invasive capital I invasive species that are particularly bad bullies. How about telling us a success story of rescuing or saving a rare plant? I got a great story. Yeah. And it's not just my story. It's a story of partners. It's the Georgia plank conservation lines. These are organizations that work together in Georgia, just bring together whatever resources and talents they have on behalf of critically rare plants and their habitats. A great Georgia success story is dwarf sumac. What's Russ Michelle looks like a sumac you might know, but it is it's dwarf and it's hairy and it's fuzzy and it's adorable. It's maybe maybe three feet tall when biologists got involved maybe starting 50 years ago. There were two populations left in Georgia. Populations were male and female and they were separated by hundreds of miles and wow. It's hard for B to get between those male plants and those female plants that were separated. Partners at the Atlanta botanical garden partners at department of natural resources, partners at state botanical garden, Georgia southern Botanic gardens, Georgia southern university, many partners working on behalf of this dwarf sumac, bringing it into cultivation. We pot up and have little snippets of males and females, but they just sit there. They don't flower at the same time, they don't reproduce. If I'm looking at it, I'm using a very technical conservation biology term. I'm looking at saying they're forlorn. They are forlorn. They are failure to thrive. In plant conservation, we tend to not mix populations. We're trying to keep the genetics of each population moving forward through time. Ginny crus Sanders, who is at the time at the Atlanta botanical garden. She's now the director of state botanical garden, and doctor mitzi Moffat, one of the state botanists of the department of resources. He's now with fish and wildlife. They're like, we are losing this plant. We were down to four male plants and a handful of female plants. We're dwindling, even in cultivation. They said, we've got to bring them together in the wild. So, on Valentine's Day, they planted the males and the females on some state property. That for a while, but within a year, those males took off. So we went from four males. Now there are tens of thousands of stems, ten years later. Maybe they needed privacy. I don't know. But they needed to be in the wild. So there are things that we don't understand. There's things that as much as we scientifically tinker with these species and try to learn everything about their life history. There's things we don't understand. So many species need to be in natural areas to survive and thrive. But now in this site they are reproducing. And they are making baby dwarf sumacs and that is a great success story because we came very close to losing that species in Georgia. When I hear sumac, I think about in boy scouts making tea with it or some kind of drink. Yeah, people still do that. There's so few seeds. I don't think I could do it with a dwarf sumac. But maybe someday, they'll be ridiculous amounts of seeds and we can have a sumac tea. There you go. You've met in connect to protect several times. Would you like to expand on some more? Yes, please, and thank you. Connect to protect is an idea that we borrowed from our Friends at Fairchild tropical garden, and they were planting gardens to connect rare plant habitat across the lower Peninsula, a Florida, a rare plant habitat, the pine barrens. We modeled our program in Georgia off of that, and that we can connect to protect for wildlife.

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