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Rare azaleas blooming in southwest Georgia park

By   /   July 10, 2011  /   Comments

Lumpkin, GA, July 5, 2011 – Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia is a great place to visit during summer to view awesome displays of the protected Plum Leaf Azalea.  This species, which grows more naturally in the wild at Providence Canyon than anywhere in the world, is normally in bloom from the middle of July through the first of September; however, this year some of the plants started blooming around the end of June.  It only grows in 13 counties in Georgia and Alabama.

Visitors from Rhododendron Clubs from all over the world often visit the park during this time of the year to view the azaleas.  Also known as the Honeysuckle Bush because its blooms are shaped similar to that of the honeysuckle, the Plum Leaf Azalea flowers vary in color from red to pink to salmon and may be seen mostly from the floors of the canyons.  Their distinct colors compliment the 43 different colors of sands on the canyon walls.

Providence Canyon State Park is one of the most photographed state parks in Georgia, so be sure to bring your camera.  It is located 7 miles west of Lumpkin, Georgia on Hwy 39C.  $5.00 parking fee per vehicle.  For more information, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 229/838-4706.  Georgia’s state parks are operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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