Canby’s Dropwart

Oxypolis canbyi

Canby’s Dropwort is an important endangered perennial. It’s essential to the lifecycle of the black swallowtail butterflies who lay their eggs on the stems. When the larvae (caterpillars) emerge, they eat the stems and leaves before forming cocoons. These stems can be up to 5 feet tall and the flowers are in flat-topped clusters at the top of the stems, with many tiny white, five-petaled flowers.

Due to loss of habitat from conversion to pine plantations and agriculture by ditching, draining, and destroying wetlands, Canby’s Dropwort is only found in small populations in the Coastal Plain of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware. About 15 populations have been seen in the last 17 years in Georgia’s Burke, Dooly, Jenkins, Lee and Screven counties. Only six of these populations are on conservation lands.



The State Botanical Garden of Georgia Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies is working with this plant and by sponsoring Canby’s Dropwort you can greatly impact the garden’s work to increase numbers and chance of survival. Find out more about what is happening at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to Preserve Georgia’s Imperiled Native Species and how you can help.