The GNPS Plant of the Year (POY) program recognizes native plants that are of benefit to Georgia’s ecology and wildlife. If you are a GNPS member and have a native plant that you think is wonderful, why not nominate it for our POY 2020? Besides beauty, some characteristics to consider are adaptability, seasonal interest, fragrance, wildlife sustenance, and ease of propagation. Only current GNPS members can nominate, so make sure your membership is up to date! You can check your membership status by logging in to, going to the Membership Portal, and selecting “Manage Membership”, then “Renew or View Membership” from the menu on the right.

POY 2020 nominations will open at 7 pm sharp on October 1, 2019, and continue until six (6) acceptable submissions have been received. Please DO NOT submit before nominations open, as premature submissions will not be accepted. Submissions must include both the common and Latin names for the nominee, as well a reason why it would make a great GNPS Plant of the Year. A sentence will suffice, but feel free to elaborate as much as you’d like. We welcome information, especially regarding ecological significance or benefits to wildlife. Photos are encouraged, but not required.

Send nominations to:

Submissions will be confirmed shortly after receipt, so if you don’t get a reply in a few minutes, please try again immediately. Members will be notified by email when submissions close.

All acceptable nominees must be:

  • Native to Georgia (you can type USDA after the plant name in a Google search to look up its native distribution);
  • Underutilized in gardens and landscapes and/or vital to the GA ecology;
  • Adaptable enough to grow in most gardens;
  • NOT a previous GNPS Plant of the Year. Previous winners can be found on the on the table below, as well as on the GNPS website.


Previous GNPS Plants of the Year
Year Botanical Name Common Name
2019 Lonicera sempervirens Coral honeysuckle
2018 Callicarpa americana American beautyberry
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

POY 2020 online voting will commence on Tues, Oct 22 and end on Mon, Nov. 11, 2019.  Members will also be able to vote by paper ballot at our November 12 meeting.  Further information will be posted in October, closer to the voting date.



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