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Storza Woods

Enjoyed from the forest floor and on the Kendeda Canopy Walk, Storza Woods constitutes 10 of the Garden's 30 acres. It is one of the few remaining secondary growth mature hardwood forests in the City of Atlanta.

There are several distinct gardens within Storza Woods, including the Glade Garden, Bowl Garden, Channel Garden, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlook, Azalea Walk, and Camellia Walk.

The tulip poplars in Storza are the tallest trees in the forest. Tulip poplars are part of the first stage of forest succession and cannot grow under heavy shade. They bloom beginning in April with very showy flowers for a canopy tree. The flowers produce a large amount of nectar, making it an important tree for bees and other insect pollinators. They can live up to 200 years and are not found in older growth forests.

Another worthy tree is the Carolina silverbell (Helasia carolina). It has spectacular, bell-shaped flowers in the very early spring which appear on the tree before it fully leafs out. It is a native of the Southeastern United States.

Storza Woods comes alive with the first signs of springs as countless daffodils bloom in bright yellow, white and peach during the annual Atlanta Blooms! exhibition.


Overall, the planting design includes woodland shrubs, understory trees, larger trees (for canopy replacement and woodland succession), wildflowers, ferns, and many other herbaceous plants including bulbs. While native plants are emphasized more-so than in the Anne Cox Chambers Garden, it is important to note that Storza Woods is not a “native plant garden.” As is the case throughout the rest of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, aesthetically-pleasing native plants are used where they are horticulturally appropriate to site conditions, often in combination with non-native plantings.

Woodland History

In the 1870s, the Gentlemen’s Driving Club purchased Storza Woods from farmers who never developed the land. Before 2015, the area was managed as an urban woodland “natural area.” Invasive plants were removed and forest health was promoted, but little horticultural cultivation was conducted. In conjunction with the development of the Canopy Walk, phased woodland horticultural efforts began.

An endowment given by Eleanor Storza in memory of her husband Francis provides funding for maintenance of the woodland.

Early Spiketail

Though there are many different Stachyurus species in Asia, Early Spiketail is perhaps one of the showiest and most widely found. This is a slower growing plant in the landscape that eventually reaches heights up to 10 to 12 feet.
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Knap Hill Red Azalea

Summer brings out the fragrant, bright red blooms of this hybrid on the Azalea Walk in Storza Woods.
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Smiling Monkey Tree

The lemon-scented blooms of this magnolia in the Glade Garden of Storza Woods attract guests in late winter.
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Ostrich Fern

The tallest native fern in North America impresses with near-vertical 3-feet-tall in cultivation in the Channel, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlooks of Storza Woods.
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Chinese Witch Hazel

Follow your nose to the Channel, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlooks of Storza Woods, as this fragrant bloomer attracts guests in early to midwinter.
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Fortune’s Holly Fern

Find this fern in the Bowl Garden, where its bright green fronds stand out in the early spring in Storza Woods.
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Plumleaf Azalea

A last hoorah of summer color, the bright red flowers of the plumbleaf azalea bloom on the Azalea Walk in Storza Woods long after its woodland cohorts.
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Obedient Plant

These vertical pink stalks in the Glade Garden do what they're told.
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Japanese Spikenard

The striking golden foliage of the 'Sun King' stands out in the Channel, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlooks of Storza Woods.
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Kelsey’s Flame Azalea

You can't miss the bright orange blooms of this native azalea hybrid when it flowers in Storza Woods.
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Henry’s Maple

This classic maple near the Channel, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlooks in Storza Woods might not catch your eye until fall when it's ablaze in shades of red.
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Redvein Enkianthus

This shrub of red and pink blooms loves the shade of the Channel, Boardwalk and Beechwood Overlooks in the Gardens in Storza Woods.
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