3/15/2014

Oconee Bells


I was so excited to finally see these rare wildflowers in bloom at Devils Fork State Park.  The Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) is a special treasure of the southeast of the United States.  They only bloom for a couple weeks each year.

I found the story of Asa Gray's obsession with this wildflower really interesting.  He spent 38 years looking for them in the wild after he saw this unnamed species in a collection in Paris.  Then, almost 90 years after they were first discovered, the teenage son of a amateur botanist stumbled upon them, and they were rediscovered.