Reintroduction of Smooth Coneflower

Jennifer Ceska,Jenny Cruse Sanders, Jim Affolter, Heather Alley, Linda Chafin and Emily Coffey,The State Botanical Garden of Georgia

A tall and elegant wildflower, Smooth Coneflower was dwindling to extinction on Georgia’s roadsides where seed heads and whole plants were poached or killed by roadside maintenance. With her Master’s thesis demonstrating that endangered plants could be grown from seeds and successfully replanted in safeguarding sites, SBG’s Heather Alley changed the way Smooth Coneflower conservation was carried out in Georgia. SBG has grown more than 1,000 Smooth Coneflower plants since 2000. We have planted 900 Smooth Coneflower plants and sown 3,700 seeds directly into the wild. We work with the GPCA and our volunteers to annually monitor and manage four Smooth Coneflower sites in the wild.