GSU Perimeter College Native Plant Botanical Garden
History and General Information

Georgia<br>Perimeter<br>College Botanical Garden



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3251 Panthersville Road
Decatur, GA 30034


Free to Public


Open 7 Days a Week; 9:00am to dusk
Best time is on Wednesdays 10:00am - 2:00pm
Except Fridays when the Lunch and Wildflower Series runs in Spring and Fall


In the spring of 1990 and out of his love and dedication to the preservation of native plants of the Southeast, George Sanko established the DeKalb College Botanical Garden.  Several years later, the garden name was changed to The Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Botanical Garden.  In 20016 the campus name changed again to the Georgia State University Perimeter College.  Through propagation and years of rescue missions to save native plants indigenous to the Southeast, the Native Plant Garden thrives today so that others may enjoy the beauty of these plants.  Also called the Wildflower Center of Georgia, it has the largest collection of native plants in Georgia. 

A number of years ago George decided to add a major feature to the garden - Ferns of the World, which features, Georgia and US native ferns as well as ferns from temperate zones around the world. Again starting a few years ago George expanded this area of the garden.  You are invited to see the largest selection of ferns in the US and maybe the world at this garden. In addition, there are also zeric beds which have Georgia native ferns and ferns from southwestern US. Many of these ferns were displayed at the GPC Botanical entry at the 2007 Southeastern Flower Show. These ferns have proven they will survive in Atlanta. Good drainage is required to minimize the effects from rainy periods.


The Native Plant Botanical Garden is situated in a flood plain near a tributary of the South River creek. There are two main garden areas - the Native Plant Botanical Garden and the Ferns of the World. The Native Plant Garden features several areas of interest including Shade and Sun perennials and shrubs. The Shade gardens are laid out with many trails are within the woodland area near the creek. There are over 4000 species of native, rare, and endangered plants indigenous to the Southeast and US. Also featured in the Garden is the new Ferns of the World exhibit which has been expanded several times. The Garden has bog plants, native trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, and perennial plants.  

Our goal at the garden is to have the largest collection of Southeastern native plants and we are well on the way to meeting our goal.


The garden is on 4 acres of land with approximately 3/4 mile of easy walking trails. 

Special Events:

The Spring and Fall months are special times at the garden. On many Fridays in the Spring as the gardens are putting on their best show and the climate is often nice for relaxing and just walking around the gardens we have walks and talks. When the weather cools in Autumn, we again have similar programs at the garden. When the walks and talks are not being held the best time to visit the garden is on Wednesdays mostly in the morning when volunteers are there helping to make the garden beautiful.  As always everyone is invited to these activities and there is no charge.  The volunteers will be happy to answer any questions.

While we offer walks and talks during the Spring and Fall months, you can come anytime. If your organization would like to tour the garden, we also offer free tours with knowledgeable tour guides. We hope you can join us for a tour to learn and see the wonderful native plants.

Plant Sales:

Fridays 10am-2pm, during our Lunch and Wildfire Series at the Decatur Campus and on some Saturdays. For details please see our schedule using links on our homepage. You can also sign up for garden emails to learn about the walks and talks and Special Plant Sales. The Special Plant Sales are not on the web so you need to sign up for garden emails to receive information on these sales.


The garden depends on volunteers who help maintain the garden, pot plants for the plant sales and many other tasks. If you are interested in gardening, learning about native plants and having fun with the volunteers at the garden consider joining them. We generally are there on Wednesday from 10:00am to 1:00pm with some coming earlier and some working later. If you are interested, please email Pat Smith. We hope you will consider volunteering. Many of the volunteers are members of the Georgia Native Plant Society, but this is not a requirement.


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The garden depends on donations to help fund the various activities including the ten week Lunch and Wildflower Series given in the Spring and Fall and to purchase plants and amendments for the garden. We hope you will consider making a Donation to the garden.