The two plants that most characterize Georgia's southern longleaf forests:
Pinus palustris and Aristida stricta.
These two are natives; they and their ancestors have lived on this spot
since the last ice age.
We believe that longleaf in any form is better than a cotton field;
that longleaf and native ground cover (like wiregrass) is better than
longleaf alone; that longleaf, wiregrass, and gopher tortoises are better
than longleaf and wiregrass alone.
Pinus palustris and Aristida stricta
by John S. Quarterman, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 February 2011.
The plant that names our region: wiregrass, Aristida stricta:
Quail and gopher tortoises eat it.
Many birds, reptiles, and small animals use it for covers.
For centuries settlers grazed cattle on it.
Burn it in May for it to make seed in October.
It thrives in fire forests with longleaf pine.
Map of Wiregrass Georgia:
The region also extends into south Alabama and north Florida.
There's so little native wiregrass left that the only place t
hat seems to have a map of the region is the
Huxford Genealogical Society in Homerville,
right in the center of Wiregrass Georgia.
Wiregrass with small dogs for scale:
This wiregrass is native; it's been growing here for 15,000 y
ears since the last Ice Age.
Pictures by John S. Quarterman, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 Feb 2011.