Greenville County Approves Historic and Natural Resources Trust

Roper Mountain Farm Photo courtesy of

by Doug Lockard 04Sept21

In an effort to realize the goals of Greenville County’s recently updated Comprehensive Plan, the County Council voted unanimously in December 2020 to establish this new trust fund.  This Trust is intended to help permanently protect Greenville’s natural and historic assets for residents, visitors, and future generations.

The Trust will be overseen by a Council-appointed board and has named Doug Harper a chair.  Harper said “This Trust will bring critical additional resources to Greenville County from State and Federal Programs, individuals and non-profit organizations. Having a local public funding source is an important criterion when seeking outside grants and funding. This is an investment in our future that will pay big dividends. Besides protecting and enhancing our quality of life, it will help us recruit businesses and good jobs that seek areas with a strong conservation ethic and access to nature. The Council was wise to adopt this ordinance.”

In April 2021, a motion for $10 million seed money for the initial 2-year funding was put to the Board.  Carlton Owen, the Trust’s vice chairman, said of the request “In this first two years, let’s show what we can do.”  Unfortunately, when the budget was approved in June 2021, no funding was provided for the new Trust.  Without funding, the Trust Board will be unable to fulfill the very mission it was created for – to conserve those natural areas most important to wildlife and people.

Then in July, the County Council approved $2 million seed money for the first 2 years.  Disappointing, but at least it’s a start.   As the pace of growth continues unabated, we’ll lose forever incremental opportunities to implement the kind of conservation programs that will ensure Greenville remains the great community it is today.

We wish all the best to Harper, Owen and the team!

Upstate NPS Fall Sale Call to Volunteers!

To all members…the time is drawing near for the upcoming Fall Plant Sale starting September 17th.  Please consider donating a couple of shifts of your time to make this sale a resounding success.  There are many plants that will need your efforts to get them out into the community.  All it takes is a smartphone and the determination to save the Upstate, one plant at a time!  Please contact Kathy Harrington at either [email protected] or at her cell 864-310-1144.  You’ll get lots of good feelings and a guaranteed endorphin rush from helping your Society during the sale.  Thank you so much!

Special Work Day at Native Plant Garden

Pickens Native Plant Garden Special Work Morning

September 11 @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am

These Native Plant Garden Volunteers  NEED YOUR HELP!

 Special Saturday Work Day at Native Plant Garden in Downtown Pickens

Volunteer for a one-time rescue work day at the Native plant garden at the Pickens County Museum at 307 Johnson St, Pickens, SC 29671.  Rain cancelled recent regular work days  but the plants (including weeds) loved it and are now “out of hand”!.  This garden is a long-term project of the South Carolina Native Plant Society, Master Gardeners of the Foothills, and the Upstate Master Naturalists Association, but our little band of regular volunteers is currently overwhelmed.

Join us on Saturday, September 11, 8:30 to 11:30am, with Sept. 18 as the rain date.  Bring gloves, hat, water, shovels (narrow blade best), pruners, weeders, and lots of energy to help whip the garden back into shape. With the Covid virus re-surging, please wear a mask and keep a social distance. This  beautiful garden is worth your rescue efforts. As a bonus, there may be excess native plants for you to rescue and take home.  Contact Carol Asalon at [email protected] for more information or to volunteer.



Lowcountry Fall 2021 Grant Applications

Is your school, community, or organization interested in promoting conservation and native plants? Want to do more to help local wildlife and pollinators? The Lowcountry chapter is excited to announce our 2021 Fall Community Grants Program! This season we are teaming up with the Lowcountry Biodiversity Foundation to provide even more funding for schools and organizations throughout coastal South Carolina. For more information, please review these application forms.  Be sure to submit your application no later than September 6th!


Download Community Grant Info



Download School Grant Info

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 [email protected] or send us an email from the SCNPS website (go to the dropdown menu The Plants) or send to [email protected]

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.

Remembering Jim Fowler

In case you haven’t heard, we are sad to report the passing of SCNPS member James Alexander Fowler.

One of the earliest members of the Upstate Native Plant Society, Jim was a prolific contributor for many years. Having spent years of field research on native orchids and carnivorous plants, he became a leading expert in his field of study as a naturalist. His books and native plant images and information online provide valuable content to the science, and he was honored by the U.S.Postal Service with the publication of Wild Orchids Forever Stamp collection in 2020. Jim took his last photography field trip on Mount Mitchell on June 25, 2021.

Learn more about this incredible member and his contributions to native plants research and in our society in

Bill Stringer’s Remembering Jim Fowler

Patrick McMillan’s tribute

Walter Ezell’s The Timeline of an Untimely End

July 20 Going Native to Attract Beneficials

Upstate Program:  Going Native to Attract Beneficials

Join the Upstate Chapter on Tuesday, July 20, at 7pm for a timely presentation on attracting beneficial insects.  Drew Jeffers, our presenter, is a Spartanburg County Extension agent.

The Zoom link is: Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 843 8837 3145

Passcode: 725876

Join the virtual gathering at 6:30 pm for socializing.  The meeting will start at 7:00 pm hosted by Dan Whitten.


Jeffers has wide ranging experience.  He says, “I am a native of the mountains of eastern Tennessee. I have a B.S. in Agriculture and Plant and Soil Science, and M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Tennessee. My thesis project focused on woody tree and shrub liner production. I have worked as an herbaceous perennial grower for Zelenka Nurseries, a production manager for Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery, a bedding plant grower for Van Wingerden International, and an Integrated Pest Management(IPM)coordinator for Costa Farms – Costa Carolina.

Chat with your fellow SCNPS members and learn how to draw more beneficial insects into your landscape.

Roadside Botanizing

by Bill Stringer

The Upstate Chapter is planning a series of what we refer to as “roadside botanizing” field trips, in which we carpool to previously scouted sites along country roadsides.  Not your normal native plant hike, but it offers some real advantages: 1) Country roadsides are infrequently mowed and/or sprayed with herbicide, just enough to keep trees from taking over the roadside.  This enables a wide variety of herbaceous natives to establish and persist; 2) We have the mobility to visit a wide variety of soil conditions in the span of a day; and 3) We can cater to a wider variety of age groups than can participate in a hike.

On Saturday, Jun 26, we hosted our first roadside botany field trip of 2021 into Oconee County, including stops in the Andrew Pickens US Forest Service District.  Our stops included a roadside/utility right-of-way (ROW) near Clemson, a trip to Pine Mountain in the National Forest, and a third stop in a frequently burned open site in the Forest, near Long Creek.

At the Clemson site we saw 17 native herbaceous species, including goat’s rue, both smooth and fuzzy varieties of greater tickseed, Georgia aster, anise-scented goldenrod, and butterfly milkweed, as well as silky oatgrass and blackseed needlegrass (see Latin names and website links in a list below}.

Our next stop was along a USFS roadside on Pine Mountain.  It was a long, curvy, dusty ride to the site. The site is an annually mowed roadside/powerline ROW.  The managed strip was from 10 to 20 feet wide, bordered by pine and hardwood forest.  The high diversity in the managed strip was mostly native herbaceous species, while the herbaceous diversity under the adjoining forest was very low.  The list includes the species we saw at Clemson plus two butterfly pea species, spiked hoary pea (a close relative of goat’s rue), slender lespedeza, trailing lespedeza, pencil flower, cat-claw sensitive briar and white-topped aster, well as hill cane.

The final stop was an open site near Long Creek which is burned every 2-3 years.  The big thrill on this site was a bus-sized densely growing population of big bluestem, a major component of the midwestern tall-grass prairies.  New species here also included eastern silver aster, New Jersey tea, spiked wild indigo, and horsefly weed.

We went to one more USFS roadside to look for yellow fringed orchid, but it appeared that the roadside mower guy got there first.

We ate our picnic lunches at the Long Creek Fire Station, where we were treated to bake sale fried pies by Jackie Burke of our roadside team.  Another thrill was seeing the General Lee, the iconic orange Dodge Charger muscle car from the 1970’s Dukes of Hazard TV show.

I have always been a fan of country roadsides and utility ROWs, and this early summer botanizing trip was a huge success!

Participants included Jackie Burke, Bill Putnam, Seth Harrison, Adam Bailey, Janie Marlow, and Bill Stringer (who brought along his border collie, Jay, who had the most fun of all!)

List of Native Herbaceous Species Spotted

Note:  The underlined blue Latin names are links to the species pages on the USDA Plants Database
( )  Clicking on these links will take you to the species webpages.  Most of the images on the pages can be enlarged by clicking on them.

>Goat’s rue  Tephrosia virginiana

>Greater tickseed  Coreopsis major

>Butterfly milkweed  Asclepias tuberosa

>Georgia aster Symphyotrichum georgianum  Google elsewhere for image

>Anise-scented goldenrod  Solidago odora

>Silky oatgrass (downy danthonia) Danthonia sericea

>Black seed needlegrass  Piptochaetium avenaceum  

>Butterfly pea (Atlantic pigeonwingsClitoria mariana

>Butterfly pea (spurred butterfly pea)  Centrosema virginianum

>Spiked hoary pea  Tephrosia spicata

>Slender bush clover (lespedeza) Lespedeza virginica

>Trailing lespedeza  Lespedeza procumbens 

>Pencil flower  Stylosanthes biflora

>Little leaf sensitive briar  Mimosa microphylla 

>Narrowleaf white top aster  Sericocarpus linifolius 

>Hill cane  Arundinaria appalachiana  Google elsewhere for an image

>Big bluestem Andropogon gerardii  Andropogon gerardii

>Eastern silvery aster  Symphyotrichum concolor

>New Jersey tea  Ceanothus americanus 

>Spiked wild indigo Baptisia albescens Google elsewhere for image

>Horsefly weed  Baptisia tinctoria