What’s A Daisy?

Yellow daisies growing on the rock outcrop, or monadnock. Photo credit: Eric Bowles.

Every year in September, an explosion of yellow flowers covers granite outcrops such as Arabia and Panola Mountains. These are Stone Mountain daisies or Porter’s sunflowers (Helianthus porteri) and they are one of the fall wonders within the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. Here are some fun facts about these vibrant flowers:

  1. They are found in only 4 states: Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  2. They are most common on the granite outcrops of the Georgia Piedmont region. You can see their distribution in this map from the USDA (zoom in for a county-by-county map).
  3. They are a summer annual that blooms in the fall. That means that, each year, the plants grow, flower, and die, dropping seeds that will grow up the next year.
  4. They thrive in the fragile solution pits – sandy patches – found on the bare rock face. Make sure to step only on the bare granite when you’re hiking!

Daisy, the AMNHA’s resident Bark Ranger, smiles next to her namesake flowers.

Want to learn more? Come join the annual Daisy Days hike to summit Stone, Arabia and Panola Mountains all in one day and see a profusion of these golden wonders.

A group of hikers at Arabia Mountain, the second stage of the Daisy Days Triple Hike.

Yellow daisies in bloom.