Non-Native Plants – Georgia Planting

Q: My heirloom Brandywine tomatoes have somewhat low production. Are there any tomato varieties native to Georgia?

A: The tomato is actually native to South America and was first cultivated in Georgia in the early 1700’s. Several common garden plants are not native to the U.S., including okra (South Asia), asparagus (Mediterranean area), apple (Central Asia) and cucumber (India). Many landscape plants are not native here, including fescue (Europe), zoysiagrass (Korea), bermudagrass (Asia) and centipedegrass (China). While yaupon holly and American holly are natives, ‘Burford’ holly (China) and ‘Convexa’ holly (Japan) are not. Gardeners get to pick plants from a wide palette of natives as well as non-natives to make our gardens and landscapes more attractive.