20 Mar 2007

Rare plants in Forty Acre Rock Preserve

My husband and I both like to hike a lot. Many Saturday mornings are spent hiking in various state parks and forests close to our home.

Last Saturday’s hike was in a place called Forty Acre Rock, a National Natural Landmark in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. The forty Acre Rock is a huge granite rock and reaching it involves hiking through thick woods, past a small waterfall and a cave. The big rock has indentations on its surface, which collect water in late winter and early spring. The pools thus formed are a haven for some rare specialized plant species, many of which are endangered.

Some pictures of the rare plant species:

The pool of water formed on the rock surface, with plants growing in it.

Diamorpha Smallii (Elf Orpine) a succulent plant from the family crassulaceae

The green plant with the tiny white flowers is called Amphianthus pusillus, which is listed as a threatened plant.
Found only in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, they are also called Snorklewort, Pool Sprite and Little Amphianthus.
It has a small life cycle, usually around a month.

Another picture of the Elf Orpine and Pool Sprite

These pools dry up in summer and the seeds spring up again the following year when water collects in the depressions.

Reference: USDA Plant Database


Manisha said...

Shilpa, these are fantastic pictures!

shilpa said...

Thanks Manisha!
I wish I had taken better pictures though. My equipment cannot get good close up shots of tiny things.
The pics suddenly disappeared, I had to re-post the post!

Manisha said...

Shilpa, look for the macro function - usually denoted by the flower symbol. Do you have that on your camera?

I'm torn between buying a Canon Rebel and a Nikon D70. I want to buy it soon!

Shilpa said...

Yes, yes buy it soon and show off the pictures on your photo blog.

I did use the Macro function on my point and shoot. I will have to wait a bit for my new better camera!

Anonymous said...

Shilpa - You live close to my place - me in Georgia!

shilpa/eyeonnature said...

Hey Neighbour! I travel to Atlanta often to visit friends. I want to go to the ruby falls sometime.