Picture by John S. Quarterman at Okra Paradise Farms,
Lowndes County, Georgia, 6 March 2012.
A small lily that grows only in counties along the Georgia-Florida border,
and maybe in a few in Alabama: Treat's Rain Lily, Zephyranthes atamasca
These days it's classified as an amaryllis.
These are not your average lily.
They only grow in counties in south Georgia and north Florida
along the state line,
and maybe a few counties in Alabama.
Treat's rain lily, Zephyranthes atamasca var. treateiae.
It's actually an amaryllis.
You may know them as "those lilies you see in the ditch by the road."
More pictures in the
Pictures by John S. Quarterman, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 March 2011.
You may know these as Easter lilies, or "those lilies that grow in the ditches by the road in the spring."
It turns out their real name is Treat's Rain Lily,
and they are a native of south Georgia and north Florida,
plus a bit of Alabama, and don't grow anywhere else.
We've seen them in Georgia counties along the Florida border
as far west as Cairo, but not any farther north.
much more about these lilies.
They really like where we burned this spring in the woods:
The red flags mark where we transplanted some longleaf pine seedlings.
Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman, 2-3 April 2010, Lowndes County, Georgia.
The Valdosta Daily Times caught me working on being tactful.
writeup actually conflates two different county commission meetings, but gets the gist right:
The fate of the tree canopies lining the rural road were thought to hang in the balance. Several residents spoke in favor of the paving, citing dangerous conditions along the road during periods of stormy weather.
John and Gretchen Quarterman, whose ancestors lent their name to the country lane, led the fight to preserve the road in its original pristine dirt-road condition.
The forest along Quarterman Road is “a scrap of the longleaf fire forest that used to grow from southern Virginia to eastern Texas,” said John Quarterman following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This forest has been here since the last ice age.”
Quarterman Road, pre-paving, was the kind of dirt road down which Huckleberry Finn might be envisioned skipping barefoot with a fishing rod projecting over one shoulder.
It was the kind of road near which Thoreau might have planted a cabin.
“Many people don’t know that a longleaf pine forest has more species diversity than anything outside a tropical rain forest,” Quarterman said. “In our woods, we have five species of blueberries, ...
Oh, the beaver will be mad. I forgot to mention the beaver.
The VDT has a good picture of Gretchen cutting the ribbon.
But it's not over just because one road project is completed:
“More people around the county seem to be paying attention these days. Commissioners tell us that already another road in the county has had its canopy saved during paving, and the commission has promised residents of Coppage Road that if their road is paved, their canopy will be saved. Commissioners even seem to like the idea of recognizing canopy roads as a feature of quality of life for residents of the county and for visitors.”
We have a forest. The county just has roads.
Now let's go see what they're doing to the rest of our roads. And schools, and waste management, and biofuels, and industry....
If you'd like to help, please contact the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
The pictures of
Easter Lilies from a few days ago obviously aren't the big Japanese
lilies commonly sold as Easter Lilies; they're a native plant,
found in their native habitat in Lowndes County, Georgia.
Everybody around here recognizes them, and seems to call them either
Easter Lilies, or "those lilies you see in the ditch by the road."
Nobody seems to know any other name for them, neither common nor botanic.
So Gretchen and I journeyed two hours south to the strange land of
Gainesville, Florida, to attend the
Gopher Tortoise Council spring meeting, taking a few samples
of "those lilies" in hopes that the assembled botanists and biologists
could identify them.
And they could!