2023 Upstate Spring Sale Volunteer Job Descriptions

Volunteer activities will take place at these locations:

  • Upstate Native Nursery (UNN) at 180 Lakewood Dr., Mauldin, SC 29667
  • SCNPS storage unit: Midgard Self Storage, 935 Butler Rd, Greenville, SC, 29607
  • Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road, Greenville (near baseball stadium; a 3-minute drive south of I-85 exit to Mauldin Rd)

Pre-Sale Team:

  • Pre-Sale Inventory: Take plant inventory at UNN. Day: Saturday, April 1, 10-1
  • Pre-Sale Orders: Pull pre-sale orders for members and volunteers at UNN. Days: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday
  • Prep for General Sale: Label and prepare plants at UNN. Day: Thursday
  • Load and Transport: Load and unload plants and equipment in and out of trucks from the UNN Greenhouse and Storage Unit to Conestee Park. Need “strong” backs. Bring your truck, trailer, or SUV if you can. Day: Friday

Set-Up Team:

  • Friday Help with plant sale site layout at Conestee Park. Help unload and arrange plants. Water Plants. Check for price tags. Set up checkout and holding area, and place traffic barriers. Saturday set up tents, tables, and chairs, and put out signs.

Day-Of Team:

  • Vehicle Traffic Directors: Stationed in the upper parking lot to make sure cars don’t get in the way of customers lining up to enter the sale and that customers line up safely. Also stationed at the lower parking lot to make sure cars drive through in the right direction. Day: Saturday
  • Front Entrance Team: Work at Entrance Table and Line Management. Greet customers at entry, hand out plant lists and membership forms. Use a clicker to count customers entering the gate. Manage customer lines during sale and direct customers to holding, checkout, and exits. Answer questions and explain the holding and checkout process. Direct customers to plant experts and guest vendors. Training will be provided. Day: Saturday
  • Sales Team: The “orange vest” team provides education and advocacy to customers (and other volunteers) and helps customers locate and select plants. Day: Saturday
  • Holding / Loading Area Team: Place plants in numbered spaces and give customer matching token. Help pull price stakes in preparation for checkout. Load plants into customer vehicles. Some heavy lifting and lots of walking are involved. Day: Saturday
  • Invoicing Team: Work at Checkout table as an invoicer: Pull, sort, and count price stakes; fill out invoices; calculate subtotals. **Must be familiar with calculators, and comfortable with numbers and invoicing. Training provided. Day: Saturday
  • Cashier Team: Work at Checkout table as a cashier: Add subtotals for a grand total on customer tickets.  Receive payment from customers (cash, check, credit/debit cards). **Must be comfortable with calculators and using card readers and making change — retail experience helpful. Training will be provided. Day: Saturday
  • Hospitality Team/Volunteer Welcome Tables: Provide information and refreshments for volunteers. Set up water cooler for everyone and keep table neat and stocked. Day: Saturday
  • Snack Maker: Provide cookies and snacks for volunteers. Day: Saturday
  • Information and Book Table: Talk to customers. Provide information on SCNPS, as well as Upstate Chapter and Membership. Sell books and provide handouts. Get customers to sign up for future plant sale emails. Day: Saturday

Post-Sale Team:

  • Help take post-sale inventory. Help break down the sale and reload remaining plants and equipment for unloading at the Greenhouse and storage unit. Take down barriers and clean up the area. Day: Saturday
To dive right in and tell us how you can help, click HERE.
To get more general information about the sale, click HERE.
All volunteers must sign a Release and Waiver of Liability form prior to their shift(s).

Gardening for Life Celebration: Call for Volunteers

“You are Nature’s Best Hope!” — a talk by Doug Tallamy at GFLP

On March 4 from 1-5pm our friends at the Gardening For Life Project are sponsoring a “Gardening for Life Celebration,” featuring the renowned Doug Tallamy (entomologist, esteemed ecologist, and author of the NY Times bestselling book Nature’s Best Hope) as keynote speaker, to be held live and in-person at Polk County High School in Columbus, NC. In addition to the speech, the celebration will feature exhibitions, book signings, and more. Tickets for the keynote are free, but registration is required.

SCNPS will be exhibiting; volunteers are needed! Contact Judy Seeley to learn more.

 

Photo credit: Rob Cardilo

 

Plant of the Month: Hepatica, or Liverleaf

Hepatica americana (Photo Credit: Dan Whitten)

by Dan Whitten

I always like to introduce a plant by giving its name, location, and description, and then tell other stories like how it got its name or how it is useful.

The common names of two similar plants in SC are Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) and Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana). The name “Hepatica” can be interchanged with the name “Liverleaf” (not to be confused with “Liverwort,” which is a spore producing vascular plant). Liverleaf is a seed-producing, herbaceous plant of the forest floor.

The scientific names have been changed a couple of times in Weakley’s Flora of the Southeastern United States. On May 21, 2015, the genus for both species changed from Hepatica to Anemone. Then on October 20, 2020, it changed back to the genus Hepatica. Thankfully, it remained the same in the latest edition of April 24, 2022. Interestingly, though, the 2022 version of A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina by McMillan, Porcher, Rayner, and White categorized it as the genus Anemone. (This book was featured in the September 2022 statewide SCNPS program and is a fantastic reference for flower enthusiasts.)

Of the two species of Hepatica occurring in South Carolina, the Sharp-lobed is the less common and occurs over calcareous or mafic rock, typically found in the mountainous part of the state. The Round-lobed is more common, with a wider geographic distribution. The differences between the two are in the tips of the lobes of the basal leaves, which are either sharp or rounded (hence the common names). In the bracts which are directly below the petaloid sepals, they are sharp tipped in the H. acutiloba and round tipped in the H. americana.  

Impress your (granted, thoroughly nerdy) friends by asking a trick question: How many petals does Hepatica have? Answer: none! They have instead 5-12 (typically around 7) petaloid sepals which are born on hairy pedicels and subtended by 3 bracts that mimic the sepals.

The petaloid sepals can be white, blue, lavender or purple. The basal leaves persist throughout the winter, and generally the new leaves come out well after the flowers in the spring. The flowers of the upstate reach peak bloom in March, but they can also be found at Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve as early as February and up near the Blue Ridge Parkway as late as April. At Station Cove Falls, I’ve seen a few plants flowering on the first day of the year, and once I saw a flower on Christmas Eve. So I challenge you to find a native and herbaceous wildflower that blooms any earlier in the year than Hepatica.

According to the Doctrine of Signatures, a plant was used to treat the part of the body that it resembled, and because the lobes of the brownish leaf of Hepatica in winter resembled the liver (aka the hepatic organ) in color and shape, it was used to treat everything from cowardice to freckles, including jaundice and other ailments believed to be of the liver.

George Hyams was collecting Hepatica in May of 1877 when he discovered the then long-lost plant that we now know as Oconee Bells, or Shortia galacifolia.

Midlands Fall 2022 Native Plant Sale

Friday, October 14, 2022
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. open to volunteers and members of SCNPS and Historic Columbia Foundation
3:00 – 6:00 p.m. open to general public

Saturday, October 15, 2022
10:00 am – 3:00 pm open to general public

LOCATION

Historic Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia
(Enter parking lot on Henderson St. between Blanding and Taylor, or park on nearby streets)

Click to see plants for sale.

Historic Columbia Foundation is using more and more natives in their landscaping, so you can see some of the sale plants in established beds.

Questions about the sale? Contact mnpsplantsale@gmail.com.
More details coming soon about speakers and demonstrations.

Click to join or renew your SCNPS membership.
Click to join the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Volunteers needed for set up the afternoon of October 13 and the morning of October 14, and during the sale. Volunteers will be able to purchase plants early.
Contact mnpspresident@gmail.com to sign up.

Please plan to pay by credit card. Wagons are ok.

Midlands Chapter Works with Dominion on New List of Suggested Native Plants for Under Powerlines

Midlands Chapter member Trish Jerman discovered that Dominion Energy’s list of suggested trees for under powerlines contained mostly nonnative and even invasive species, so she contacted them and offered our assistance to revise it with native plants. Happily, they were open to the idea.

Trish gathered a small working group to research native trees and shrubs with high wildlife value that also meet Dominion’s height restrictions.

The new list is now available online. You can learn more about Dominion’s policies on their Trees, Trimming, and Powerlines page. (The list is under “South Carolina FAQs”).

Trish and the group are now working with Santee Cooper and reaching out to electric cooperatives on their suggested plant lists.

Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale March 25-26, 2022

The Midlands Chapter will host its spring plant sale March 25 & 26, 2022, at the Historic Robert Mills House in Columbia.

PLANT SELECTION LIST

We are once again partnering with the Historic Columbia Foundation, which will offer tours of the grounds. You’ll get to see some of the same natives offered at the sale growing at Robert Mills House gardens. Tours begin at 4:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am on Saturday.
In addition, SC Native Plant Society members will stage educational demonstrations during the sale.

New this sale: Sal’s Old Timey Feed and Seed will join us to offer great natives for sale.

Interested in volunteering and getting an early look at the plant selection? Please contact mnpspresident@gmail.com.

Questions about the sale? Contact mnpsplantsale@gmail.com.

Please plan to pay by credit card. Bring a cart or wagon if you think you might be tempted to get more than two hands can hold.

Location: Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia
(Enter parking lot on Henderson St. between Blanding and Taylor, or park on nearby streets)

Friday, March 25, 2022:
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. open to volunteers and members of SCNPS and Historic Columbia Foundation
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.  open to general public

Saturday, March 26, 2022:
9:00 am – 4:00 pm open to general public

Click to join or renew your SCNPS membership.

Click to join the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Midlands Fall Native Plant Sale, Oct 29 & 30

The Midlands Chapter is excited to host its first native plant sale, and honored to partner with Historic Columbia Foundation during their fall sale.
Historic Columbia is actively working to replant many of its gardens with native species. They are generously sharing space at the Robert Mills House with SCNPS for this sale, so shoppers can select from both groups’ plant offerings.

See a list of plants available for sale.

Location: Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding St., Columbia (Enter parking lot on Henderson Street between Blanding and Taylor or park on nearby streets)

Friday, October 29:
9:00-9:30   volunteers only
9:30 – 10:00   members and volunteers
10:00 am – 4:00 pm   general public

Saturday, October 30: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Note: Thursday, October 28 is reserved for Historic Columbia Foundation members only. To join, visit https://www.historiccolumbia.org/support/membership

Please plan to pay by credit card and mask up when you can’t stay 6 feet apart. Bring a cart or wagon if you think you might be tempted to get more than two hands can hold.
For questions or if you’re interested in volunteering (and getting an early opportunity to shop) please contact mnpspresident@gmail.com.

Save The Date: Upstate Fall Native Plant Sale

Upstate Fall Native Plant Sale 2021
September 18 @ 8:00 am – October 16 @ 5:00 pm

We know from all of the inquiries you’ve sent that interest is running very high for a Fall Native Plant Sale. So (drum roll!), without further ado, we’re announcing the SCNPS Fall Plant sale! These are the important dates to remember:

· September 17th: Volunteer Appreciation Day. Volunteers working the sale get to shop first!

· September 18, 20-23rd: SCNPS members only. Orders open online on the 17th (to be pulled on or after the 18th) and members will be notified when orders can be picked up.

· September 24th-October 16th: Open to all. Orders open online on the 23rd (to bepulled on or after the 24th) and customers will be notified when orders can be picked up.

As you can see, the first day, when all the plants are at their best with the deepest inventory, is set aside for the plant sale volunteers only. This is a new incentive to tempt members to come out and volunteer to work two or more shifts at the sale. Shifts are 4 hours long and training is provided. All you need is a smart phone and a desire to save the Earth one plant at a time.

 

The benefits of fall planting are many:

· Roots, roots, roots! When it comes to a plant’s health, it’s all about the roots. Fall planting gives a plant, tree or shrub plenty of time to develop their root system before the first frost.

· Free watering! One of the best benefits of fall planting is the cool, rainy days for your newly planted beauties.

· Less stress for both you and your new plants. Fall’s cool air provides a nice buffer from the summer heat and it’s easier to plant in cooler air.

· Warm soil. The soil will be warmer in the fall than in the spring. The tops may be getting ready to snooze but the roots will get set up to go through the winter and will come up in the spring ready to go.

So, please mark your calendars and join us for another wonderful Native Plant Society sale at the Upstate Native Nursery. Appointments will be available for on site visits. This will still be a virtual sale with contactless pickup as in the last two sales. You must be a member by September 11th, 2021 in order to qualify for the members only period. Questions? Contact Kathy Harrington at pharmkat1965@gmail.com or send us an email from the SCNPS website (go to the dropdown menu The Plants) or send to UpstatePlantSale@scnps.org.

We hope to see orders from all of you. The volunteers have worked very hard all summer to keep the plants in tiptop shape for the Fall sale. Many hours of propagation, germination, potting, pruning, weeding, mowing, maintaining and brainstorming have gone on to make this the best sale ever!

Click here to see all of the plant sale details.

Bradford Pear to be banned in South Carolina!

South Carolina will become only the second state in the United States to ban the sale of Bradford pear trees and any other pear trees grown on the commonly used Pyrus calleryana rootstock.

The ban on sales of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — and three species of Elaeagnus will begin Oct. 1, 2024.

Bradford pears were once touted as sterile, but it turns out that if pollen from any other Pyrus species gets into Bradford pear flowers, the trees can make viable seeds. Those seeds are then eaten by birds and other animals and spread across the Southeastern landscape, contributing directly to one of the worst invasive plant species in the region — the Callery pear.

 

Bradfore pear

Callery pears are an aggressive invasive species with stems and branches possessing large thorns. They can spread by seed or root sprouts and can quickly take over a roadside, old field, pasture, vacant lot, or forest understory.

Does this mean that homeowners have to cut down a Bradford pear tree or remove the Elaeagnus shrub growing on their property? No, but they are encouraged to do so. In fact, Clemson University runs an annual program where residents can obtain a free, native replacement tree in exchange for cutting down their Bradford pear tree. For more details, see the Clemson Bradford Pear Bounty program.

 

The noxious weed shrub Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) has sadly been promoted for “wildlife plantings”.

 

One of the South’s most overplanted trees, per The Southern Living Garden Book.

“I think the impacts of it as it gets out into the natural landscape are pretty evident,” said David Coyle, assistant professor of Forest Health and Invasive Species at Clemson. “Frankly, there are a lot better things that people could put in their yards; there are a lot of good natives they should probably plant instead.”

Not only do Callery pears have nasty thorns that can damage everything from tractor tires to livestock, but they also damage the ecosystem by crowding out native plants while providing little to no food for insects.

The ban on these plants will make them illegal to sell or trade within South Carolina. “There are several ways to attack the problem, and one of those ways is to just stop it from being sold,” Coyle said. “As part of Clemson Extension’s Bradford Pear Bounty program, we’re trying to teach consumers that there are better things to plant and, essentially, teach them not to buy those non-native species. But you can’t reach everyone that way, so we’re trying to come at it from another way and just make it illegal to sell them.”

 

Noxious weeds are weeds that have been designated by an agricultural or other governing authorities as a plant that is injurious to crops, ecosystems, humans or livestock. To read the full news release, visit Clemson News: Invasive Bradford pear, 3 other species to be banned for sale in SC.

To learn about South Carolina’s other listed species, browse the State Plant Pest List.

Field trips to South Carolina prairies

Posted on |

 

October 20 and 21, 2017

In celebration of South Carolina’s Native Plant Week (Oct 16 – 20) the Midlands and Piedmont Chapters of the SC Native Plant Society are hosting field trips to some uniquely interesting natural native plant communities in our area.

South Carolina has a lot of natural diversity for a state of our size, and two of the most interesting sites are the Post Oak Savanna and the Blackjack Oak Savanna.

The Post Oak Savanna is a 50-acre spot in the Long Cane District of the Sumter National Forest. It is located on shallow stony soils in what geologists call the Carolina Slate Belt. These soils restrict rooting depth, so trees on this site are mainly short-statured hardwoods like post oak (Quercus stellata). Larger trees occasionally establish, but with shallow roots, they are subject to wind-throw. Thus the tree canopy is thin, allowing native grasses and wildflowers to establish underneath. So in a region of almost complete forest cover, we find short, thinly spaced trees, and lots of native grasses and wildflowers, similar those in Midwestern tall grass prairies.

The SC Dept. of Natural Resources’ Blackjack Oak Savanna is found on the edge of Rock Hill, in an area of basic rock geology. These basic rocks break down into high calcium, high magnesium soils with near neutral pH. These soils contain a clay type that swells when wet, and shrinks and cracks when dry. This shrinking and swelling is damaging to tree roots. Blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), another short-statured tree, is more tolerant of these conditions than most other trees. Again, short, thinly spaced trees allow maintenance of native grasses and wildflowers. These two sites contain a large number of prairie-type grasses and wildflowers (some quite rare in our State) that persist naturally, and are unique in the largely forested Piedmont of SC.

The Midlands group will lead a trip to the Post Oak Savanna on Friday, Oct. 20. Meet the group at the Walmart Superstore on Bush River Rd, just off I-20 at 9:30, to carpool to the site, arriving about 10:30. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring water and a snack. There is a half-mile level walk to the site.

On Saturday, October 21 the Piedmont group will lead a trip to the Blackjacks site. The 10:00 meeting spot in Rock Hill is at the Blackjack Oaks Heritage Preserve parking area off Blackmon Rd. There is limited parking, so please carpool.

For detailed directions to the Post Oaks, go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/cs/recarea?ss=110812&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003738&navid=110240000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=generalinfo&recid=47217&ttype=recarea&pname=Post%20Oak%20Savanna

For detailed directions to the Rock Hill Blackjacks, go to https://www.sctrails.net/trails/trail/rock-hill-blackjacks-heritage-preserve

For further information on the Post Oaks trip, contact Marigold Wilson (marigolddra70@gmail.com) or Bill McCullough (billmac85@yahoo.com).

For further information on the Blackjack Oaks trip, contact Mitzi Stewart (mstewart@truvista.net).