North Carolina Icons: Sandhills

NC IconsToday’s featured state icon is the Sandhills region, number 31 in Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list. Our State describes the variety of the region: “Southern Pines is the horse capital of N.C., Pinehurst is the golf capital, and Candor is the peach capital.” Stretching into South Carolina and Georgia, the Sandhills are also known for a dry climate, sandy soils (hence the success of peaches), and vast Longleaf Pine forests that support threatened and endangered species like the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. The North Carolina State library website offers more resources for research and information about the Sandhills.

If interested in hiking the trails, Bruce A. Sorrie’s A Filed Guide to Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia will help you to identify the the beautiful flora of the area. Meanwhile, Kelly Alexander’s Peaches: a SAVOR THE SOUTH cookbookTM will give you the perfect recipes for the region’s plethora of peaches.

A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region by Bruce A. SorrieFeaturing over 600 wildflowers, flowering shrubs, and vines, this user-friendly field guide is the first to focus on the rare, fragile lands and species of the Sandhills region of the Carolinas and Georgia. Characterized by longleaf pine forests, rolling hills, abundant blackwater streams, several major rivers, and porous sandy soils, the Sandhills region stretches from Fayetteville, North Carolina, southwest to Columbus, Georgia, and represents the farthest advance of the Atlantic Ocean some 2 million years ago.

Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region is arranged by habitat, with color tabs to facilitate easy browsing of the nine different natural communities whose plants are described here. Bruce A. Sorrie, a botanist with over 30 years of experience, includes common plants, region-specific endemics, and local rarities, each with its own species description, and over 540 color photos for easy identification. The field guide’s opening section includes an introduction to the Sandhills region’s geology, soil types, and special relationship to fire ecology; an overview of rare species and present conservation efforts; a glossary and key to flower and leaf structures; and a listing of gardens, preserves, and parklands in the Sandhills region and nearby where wildflowers can be seen and appreciated. Wildflower enthusiasts and professional naturalists alike will find this comprehensive guide extremely useful.

Peaches: a SAVOR THE SOUTH(tm) cookbook by Kelly AlexanderWhether you swear by peaches from Georgia or from South Carolina, there’s no doubt that the fruit is sacred to southerners. From the moment the first mouthwatering Elberta variety was grafted in the 1870s, the peach has been an icon of summertime and a powerful symbol of the South’s bounty. Peaches showcases the sweet richness of this signature fruit. Native Atlantan and award-winning food writer Kelly Alexander explores the fruit’s history, offers advice for selecting, storing, and cooking, and reflects on the place of peaches in southern identity.

Peaches includes forty-five recipes ranging from classic desserts to internationally inspired preparations. In this book, the desserts come first, and all the recipes—from The Best Peach Ice Cream and Roasted Peach-Basil Chicken to Pickled Peaches and Peach Clafoutis—will leave us certain that we should all dare to eat a peach, as often as we’re able.

Check back at our NC Icons series to find great reads for other state icons.

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