Harris County Flat Shoal Spider Lily
by Ron Rollins
May 2008: In Harris County,Ga.; we know when Summer is near, because of special events in nature; we are blessed to have here and to protect for future generation to enjoy. Spring here is a special floral event for us. In the lower Piedmont area of this County, we have a group of native plants, that thrive here, that are rare in most other areas. The native Oak Leaf Hydrangia, with it’s plush white clustered plumbs of flowers busting from it’s large green leaves; the Native Azalea (Prunifolia),in bloom; some bushes the flowers are white, some yellow, some in varying shades of light pink to almost red. Then the more common; Dogwoods trees, Red Buds trees ,and Yucca plants all come alive, all in floral beauty before the trees of the forests get their leaves. Wild flowers and an assortment of bulb-ed plants, fruit trees and vines; all blooming in concert, leaving us a sign that past generations of people did live and farm here before us. They left behind non-native plants, in this area, from other places in the world, from whence they came. What a beautiful sight to see in the” Hills of Harris County” when it’s Spring!
Now about the rare Shoal Lily: It is only found in three U.S. States; Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, with only 10 known locations in Georgia. Shoal Spider Lilies must have free-flowing, unpolluted creek or river water located in the Piedmont and inner Coastal Plains area. They also need full sun exposure in order to survive and thrive. In North West Harris County off Ga. Hwy 103, between Whitesville and West Point, Ga., at Flat Shoals Creek; there is a large section of shoals that that fit the life requirements of these rare water flowers. It fits so well, that they are thriving and is the most beautiful site to see, as they bloom only during the month of May.
This rare and endangered Lily at Flat Shoals Creek is the largest population of lilies in the State. Mr. Stephen Johnson Owens 337 acres going up both banks from top to bottom of the shoals. The land has been in his family sent the early to mid 1800’s. He has been the protector of the lilies but has put the land now with the Nature Conservancy, to protect this rare plant and the shoals even after he is gone. This kindly man has left the property to the Conservancy when he dies; so that the land and lilies will be kept undeveloped and protected forever,Amen! Mr.Johnson has been opening his land to viewing of the lilies in May for a while. Put this on your next years calender, May 2009 go to Flat Shoals Creek there will be signs and see the beautiful lilies on the shoals. Walk down the trails up the creek and see