Update on 9/20: Six nominations have been received. Nominations are now closed. The next phase will be voting in October.

If you are a GNPS member, why not consider nominating a plant for GNPS’s Plant of the Year (POY) for 2017? All GNPS members are encouraged to nominate a plant that they feel deserves this honor. The nomination period for GNPS POY 2017 opens at the stroke of midnight (12:01 am) on Monday, September 19th, 2016 and closes as soon as six (6) acceptable nominations have been submitted.

Only GNPS members may nominate a plant, and only GNPS member may vote for GNPS Plant of the Year 2017. Last year all six acceptable nominations were on the first day of nominations, so try to submit your nomination as soon as possible.

We highlight Georgia’s native plants that are under-utilized in commercial and residential landscapes and/or which are vital components of our Georgia ecology for our Plant of the Year Program. We are looking beyond beauty, even though we acknowledge that this is often what draws us to a special native plant in the first place.

For a nomination to be acceptable, the nominated plant should be:

  • Native to the state of Georgia. (Maps of native ranges are available on http://plants.usda.gov ; indicate if search is for a common name or a botanical/scientific name.)
  • Adaptable enough that it doesn’t demand growing conditions that are difficult for most Georgia gardeners to provide or achieve.
  • Under-utilized in residential and/or commercial landscapes.
  • One that has not been a previous GNPS Plant of the Year. For quick reference, here is a table of previous GNPS POYs, or click this link for more information and photos of each plant: https://gnps.org/education/plant-year/

Previous GNPS Plants of the Year

Year Botanical Name Common Name
2016 Spigelia marilandica Indian pink
2015 Symphyotrichum georgianum Georgia aster
2014 Aesculus pavia Red Buckeye
2013 Sassafras albidum Sassafras
2012 Sanguinaria canadensis Bloodroot
2011 Viburnum acerifolium Mapleleaf viburnum
2010 Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed
2009 Quercus alba White oak
2008 Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas fern
2007 Itea virginica Virginia sweetspire
2006 Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal flower
2005 Amelanchier arborea Downy serviceberry
2004 Oxydendrum arboreum Sourwood
2003 Tiarella cordifolia Foam flower
2002 Morella cerifera Wax myrtle
2001 Rhododendron canescens Piedmont azalea
2000 Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf hydrangea


Notes about nominations:

  • Nominations will be confirmed by email as soon as a nomination is submitted. Acknowledgement of a nomination’s acceptance status will be sent as soon as possible, usually the same day the nomination is submitted.
  • Members nominating a plant should provide the plant’s botanical and common names, and may write as much or as little about why the nominee should be the next GNPS Plant of the Year. Reasons why the nominee is beneficial to Georgia’s wildlife and/or ecology are always appreciated. Whether known or as yet unknown, we assume that all of Georgia’s native plants benefit our ecosystems or they would not exist together.
  • GNPS membership will be confirmed prior to acceptance of a nomination.
  • If you have any questions, please send email to the committee at gnpspoy@gnps.org

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