The Upstate Chapter participated in the Southern Home & Garden Show in Greenville March 4-6. Steve Marlow worked his usual magic in pulling together a great booth filled with information sheets and a lovely selection of native plants provided by Carolina Wild (Anderson, SC). SC NPS provided 26 volunteers for a total of 23 hours of Show time, and the volunteers collected 44 names of folks interested in native plants. The new “Wild Plants on the Rabbit” brochure was especially popular with booth visitors.
A new invasive plant species that appears to be poised to be a terrible invasive in moist, nutrient-rich situations across eastern North America has been documented in two counties in South Carolina: fig buttercup, also called lesser celandine (Ficaria verna, formerly Ranunculus ficaria).
Because of concern that this plant may be establishing footholds along waterways in other counties, the SC Native Plant Society is enlisting the efforts of people across the state to scout areas near them during March and April. A training video can be seen at
A workshop is also planned, to be held March 21 at Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville:
What is an invasive species? An invasive species is an introduced plant or animal with the ability to thrive and spread aggressively outside its native range, and which is believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy and/or human health.
In an effort to to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues, the week of February 22–28 has been designated as National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
Kudzu (Pueraria montana), “the plant that ate the South”, is an example that readily comes to mind. Introduced to the United States as an ornamental and heavily promoted for erosion control, it now covers about 8 million acres of land in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, and costs an estimated $500 million a year in the U.S. in control efforts and the damage it causes to forest productivity.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is an invasive insect introduced to the East Coast in the 1950s, Already it has killed huge numbers of hemlocks in the Southern Appalachians, and foresters as far north as Maine are now battling the destructive pest. The hemlock is a foundational species in the riparian and cove habitats of southern mountains, and the ecological ramifications of its loss impact such things as stream flow, water temperature, and the survival of eastern brook trout.
Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is an invasive aquatic plant that was first found in Lake Marion in 1982 and now covers over 55,000 acres in the state. Indeed, Hydrilla has become a major obstacle to fishing, swimming, boating, hydroelectric generation, and irrigation in slow-moving waters from Connecticut to Texas.
A list of ways to observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week can be downloaded from the official website (www.nisaw.org). Their suggestions include “clean, drain and dry your boat trailer and gear every time you leave a body of water”, “learn to recognize common invaders and keep an eye out for signs of new ones”, “join an eradication effort”, “let your lawmakers know your opinions about the impact of invasive species on our natural heritage”, “replace your invasive landscape plants with native alternatives”, and “become a citizen scientist”.
Please help SCNPS by donating items for the SILENT AUCTION as part of the upcoming 2014 conference on the campus of The Historic Penn Conference Center Beaufort County (Dates: October 31-November 2, 2014).
We are requesting that members consider donating and bringing items that can be sold in the silent auction at the conference in order to raise money towards conference expenses and to support activities of the Society; as well as for the fun of it! If anyone has an item or can acquire a donated item, please contact me (Sudie) with the item details prior to the conference and plan to bring the item to the Penn Center for the auction (auction will be Saturday evening, but items can be on display starting Friday evening). Please only bring items (or groups/baskets of items) with a value of over $25. Item ideas include plants (as always!), artwork, books, gardening tools or materials, birding/hiking/outdoor adventure equipment or gadgets, gourmet/local/homemade food or drink (jams, relishes, honey, coffee, etc.), donated vacations/guided tours, hikes, paddle trips, etc., botany tools (plant press, hand lens?). Items with values less than $25 can be grouped together for a higher value.
All I need ahead of time is the item name and/or short description, person donating, monetary value estimate, and then later for the item (s) to be brought to the conference. Thanks!!!
Sudie Daves Thomas; Tel: 803-664-0806; [email protected]
The unidentified plant images are coming in much more quickly because of the arrival of Spring! I’ll try to keep up with identifying them all…
I hope you all will look at them and enjoy!
I just want to remind everyone that I am still available to attempt to identify any plants you may have from a digital image, here on this site. It has been slow this last year! If you do not wish to put the image on our site, you can still send it to me privately at [email protected], and let me know if you want the answer to be private or not [you can also indicate that if you want to send it to the site]. I used to do all of them by email, and this current site was just a faster way to do it at times – but I like to try to identify plants of most kinds on or off the site [not mushrooms, mosses, algae or other non-vascular plants, however] and you are welcome to send images to me.
I enjoy a challenge.
–Steve Hill [Ph.D Botanist] SCNPS
We will be removing approximately 1,000 plants from the footprint of the new nature trail on Sullivan’s Island and transplanting them to the newly re-engineered Folly Beach County Park. We will begin at 9 am at Station 16 beach path on Sullivan’s Island and the first plants should arrive at Folly around 11am. Bring shovels to both sites and pruners/scissors to Sullivan’s. Come to either or both sites and take part in this great opportunity to help the SC Native Plant Society and our County Parks!
Please join the Southcoast Chapter at our Fall Native Plant Sale and open house which will be held at Naturescapes of Beaufort on October 5th. A percentage of proceeds from the sale will benefit chapter projects. For information and directions please email [email protected] or call (843) 525-9454
The 2013 annual meeting will be held at Saluda Shoals Park in Columbia, SC on November 16th. Rudy Mancke will be the featured speaker. A field trip led by Rudy will follow lunch.
Fig Buttercup has recently been found in Greenville County. Never heard of it? Try Lesser Celandine. It may be in the gardening catalog on your kitchen table, promoted as an easy-to-grow alternative to the rare native Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).
This is SC’s first documented sighting of Ficaria verna growing outside of cultivation. It is a vigorous plant that emerges in early Spring before most natives, forming a green blanket which, once established, native plants cannot penetrate. Toothworts, Dutchman’s Breeches, Trout Lily, Trillium and Bloodroot are some of the natives most at risk.
It produces numerous tubers and bulblets, each of which can grow into a new plant when separated from the parent by animals or well-meaning weed-pullers, or carried downstream. Its bright buttery yellow flowers were in full bloom here in early April — an infestation looking like a green carpet with yellow dots, growing in low open woods, floodplains, meadows and waste places. After flowering, its above-ground parts die back and are mostly gone by June; it survives the winter as thickened fingerlike underground stems.
Chemical pesticides can be effective, but are best used early before natives and amphibians have emerged. Small infestations can be tackled by hand digging with a small trowel, but soil disturbance can encourage further infestation. If digging is attempted, care must be taken to bag every scrap of plant, and make sure they are completely dead before delivering to a landfill.
Learn more at our March 18th meeting,
Under the radar: Fig Buttercup
download a fact sheet,
or visit these sites:
To see the Greenville County infestation, which spreads along 1.5 miles of Reedy River floodplain, download Conestee~Ficaria.pdf
To learn more, please watch the video at