Join us for an engaging discussion with esteemed botanist and author of A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina, Dr. Richard Porcher. He will introduce two exciting projects: his upcoming wildflower book and a collaborative effort with state botanists titled A Guide to Saving South Carolina’s Rarest Native Wildflowers.
Richard Dwight Porcher Jr., a native of Pinopolis in Berkeley County, South Carolina, currently resides in Mt. Pleasant. He graduated from Berkeley High School in 1957 and earned a BS in biology from the College of Charleston in 1962. Porcher received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1974, where he studied field botany under the noted botanist Dr. Wade T. Batson. In 1970, he began a thirty-three-year tenure as a biology professor at The Citadel.
In 1995, he published Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry and Lower Pee Dee (USC Press). He is the senior author of Wildflowers of South Carolina, published in October 2001 with Doug Rayner (USC Press). Porcher, now Professor Emeritus at The Citadel since retiring in 2003, previously served as Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University. There, he established the Wade T. Batson Endowment in Field Botany to support students studying the state’s flora and plant ecology.
Porcher, alongside Sarah Fick, published The Story of Sea Island Cotton in 2005 (Wyrick Press). With William Judd, he published The Market Preparation of Carolina Rice (USC Press, 2014). Our Lost Heritage: A History of the Peoples in the St. John’s Basin in Berkeley County, SC, was privately published with Cecile Guerry and Robert Hauck in 2022.
In 2022, Pat McMillan, Porcher, Doug Rayner, and David White published a revised and expanded edition of A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina (USC Press). Porcher has served as a trustee of The South Carolina Nature Conservancy, the Charleston Library Society, The Waring Historical Library, and as secretary of the Board of Directors of the Huguenot Church in Charleston.
Porcher is currently photographing the wildflowers and plants of South Carolina, with 1,600 different species already documented. These photographs have been placed in the public domain.
Recently, Porcher has assembled a team of historians and archaeologists to conduct a “Cultural History of the Santee Delta.”
Porcher’s accolades include the 2006 Charleston Horticultural Society’s 1830 Award, the 2008 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award, the 2015 Citadel School of Science and Mathematics Faculty Award, The Order of the Palmetto in 2019, and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence by the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference in 2023.