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Forty Acre Rock

Sponsored by the charlotte chapter

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The NC Native Plant Society, SC Native Plant Society and The Museum of York County teamed up for this trip to this 2000+ acre nature preserve just south of Charlotte which features several unique and/or unusual plant communities.  The most notable of these are those that occur on the vast granite flatrock known as 40 Acre Rock.  Located in an area where the sandhills meet the piedmont, the surrounding woodlands contain plants from both regions as well as those most often seen in the mountain region.  Dr. George Sawyer who has visited the site every year since 1964 gave us some geological, botanical and biker history of the preserve.  Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Larry Mellichamp (UNCC Botanical Gardens) shepherded us through the many botanical treasures that occur there.

Dr. Sawyer rallying the troops

Haircap Moss along the trail in

Sundial Lupine

Occurring along the trail after a burn.

Lupinus perennis

Sky-blue Lupine

Growing side by side with Sundial Lupine

Lupinus diffusus

A little Rock history - ancient volcanos, brittle granite, solution pools and biker celebrations

Once a tire strewn and graffiti covered biker haven, this land is now protected as a nature preserve. Over time, solution pools which have formed on top of the granite support rare plant communities.

Gloomy Moss

Reindeer Lichen and Haircap Moss in solution pool

Solution pool plant community - mosses, lichen and ragwort

Elf orpine

Diamorpha smallii

Solution pool with Red cedar growing in less than 12 inches of soil

A pool of Haircap Moss, Bluets and Pool sprite

Trout lilies in solution pool

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