Native Hikes Project

By: Doug Lockard

There are many wonderful trees native to our ecosystems here in South Carolina, and as such, are beneficial to the wildlife that evolved her alongside them.  This list below is compliments of the US Forestry Service here in our state.  These trees, if propertly planted, will very likely live longer, require less maintenance, and bring more benefit than the wide variety of non-native trees available commercially here.

White Turtlehead, Photo by Janie Marlow

My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park.  It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting.  We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’.  It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot.  It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.

Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence.  It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project.  There are other plant identification aps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well.  If anyone is interested in this project, drop me a line at  



Bublet Bladderfern Cystopteris bulbifera (2)

Greater Tickseed, Photo by Doug Lockard

Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides 

Western Brackenfern Pteridium aquilinum

Broom Forkmoss Dicranum scoparium

Common Hairmoss Polytrichum commune

Juniper Haircap Polytrichum juniperinum


Flowering Spurge Eujphorbia corollata


Basketgrass Oplismenus hirtellus Considered an invasive native

Beetleweed Galax urceolata

Blue ridge Blueberry Vaccinium pallidum

Butterfly Pea Clitoria mariana aka:  Atlantic pigeon wings

Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa

Bursting-heart Euonymus americanus aka:  Strawberry bush

Canada Giant Cane Arundinaria gigantea

Goldenrod Solidago canadensis

Joe Pye Weed, Photo by Doug Lockard

Carolina elephants foot Elephantopus carolinianus

Common Blackberry Rubus allegheniencis

Grass-leaf Golden Aster Pityopsis gramminifolia

Greater Tickseed Coreposis major

Goldenrod, White Solidago bicolor

Goldenrod, Wrinkleleaf Solidago rugosa

Goldenrod, Early Solidago juncea

Hairy Sunflower Helianthus hirsutus

Hartweg’s Wild Ginger Asarum hartwegii

Highbush Blueberry Varrinium corymbosum

Hoary Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum incanum

Longleaf summer bluet Houstonia longifolia

Joe Pye Weed, Photo by Chris Dobbins

Northern Dewberry Rubus flagellaris

Northern Seaoats Chasmanthium latifolium

Pale Indian Plantain Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Poke Milkweed Asclepias exaltata

Rattlesnake Weed Pilosella venosa

Smooth carrionflower Smilax herbacea

Joe Pye Weed Eutrochium purpureum

White Snakeroot Ageratina altissima

White Turtlehead Chelone glabra

Whorled milkweed Asclepias verticillata

Yellow False Foxglove Aureolaria virginica (1)


Buckthorn, Carolina Frangula caroliniana

Dogwood, Flowering Cornus florida

Sourwood, Photo by Janie Marlow

Gum, Black Nyssa sylvatica

Hickory, Shagbark Carya ovata

Hickory, Pignut Carya glabra

Hickory, Bitternut Carya cordiformis

Holly, American Ilex opaca

Locust, Bristly Robinia hispida

Locust, Black Robinia pseudoacacia

Laurel, Mountain Kalmia latifolia

Maple, Red Acer rubrum

Oak, Northern Quercus rubra

Oak, Chestnut Quercus montana

St. Andrews Cross, Photo by Doug Lockard

Oak, Black Quercus velutina

Oak, White Quercus alba

Oak, Swamp White Quercus bicolor

Oak, Blackjack Quercus marilandica

Persimmon, Common Diespyros virginiana 

Pine, Virginia Pinus virginiana

Poplar, Poplar Lirodendron tulipifera,

Sassafras, Common Sassafras albidum

Sourwood, Common Oxydendrum arboreum


Muscadine Vitis rotundifolia

Roundleaf Greenbrier Smilax rotundifolia

Summer Grape Vitis aestivalis

St. Andrews Cross Hypericum hypericoides

Note (1) pretty rare, found only under White Oak trees where it takes it’s nourishment from

Note (2) pretty rare in our area

Special thanks to Janie Marlow and her Name That Plant database at:

For more information on Paris Mountain:





Trail Map Source: