Upstate Fall Plant Sale Continues

Upstate Fall Native Plant Sale

Photo courtesy of The Greenhouse Gang October 1-22. 2022 at the Upstate Native Nursery

October 1 – 22, 2022

The annual Upstate Native Plant Society Fall sale is underway.

How to Order

The plant list is posted on and a link is below.  Orders can be sent  directly to Kathy Harrington at [email protected].   Payments can be made by credit card and the orders will be placed into a holding area at the UNN for contact-less pickup.

Reservations for an onsite/buying visit to the Upstate Native Nursery during the sale will be accepted and scheduled depending on volunteer availability.  We welcome both members and non-members of the SC Native Plant Society.  Please contact Kathy Harrington directly at [email protected]or at 864-310-1144 to set up a date and time.

Special Shopping Days for SCNPS Members

As we have done before, SCNPS members have first dibs on these great plants on the first three days of the sale (10-1, 10-3, and 10-4), but there are plenty left for non-members to order to still order.  You must be a paid up member by 9-30-22 to qualify for the member shopping days.

Lists of plants available to purchase can be downloaded here:

Excel version

Adobe Acrobat version 

Remember, Fall is the best time to plant!

Leave the Leaves!

Justin Wheeler of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation ( makes the case for leaving the leaves to support our pollinators as among the most beneficial things you can do in your winter landscape.

Read the full article here or visit this international non-profit organization here.

You can also revisit our SCNPS article Winter Gardening for Wildlife for more information about providing winter habitat for our beneficial wildlife.

November Upstate Monthly Meeting – Using iNaturalist to Bring the Smokies Alive

Korrin Bishop

Using iNaturalist to Bring the Smokies Alive

Nature-writer and editor Korrin Bishop will be presenting, “Using iNaturalist to Bring the Smokies Alive”.  Korrin Bishop works with passions for both mission-driven work and the great outdoors. Her writing is heavily influenced by a sense of place, as over time she has found home amongst California’s redwoods, Washington, D.C. ‘s cherry blossoms, Oregon’s caves, South Dakota’s badlands, Florida’s Everglades, and Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Korrin was a 2020 writer-in-residence at Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville. She is currently working on hiking every trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and earning her certification as a Tennessee Naturalist. She has written for Misadventures Magazine, Sierra MagazineSmokies Life, and Fodor’s Travel, among others.

During her presentation, you will learn about iNaturalist.  iNaturalist is a citizen science app that goes beyond the basic identification of plants, animals, fungi, and other species. In this talk, writer and avid iNaturalist user Korrin Bishop will cover the app’s wide range of uses through the lens of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Click here to get to the event and Zoom link.

My rocky relationship with Virginia creeper

By Jessica Bragg

Photo credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking

It was not love at first sight.  My first impression of Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinqefolia) was “that plant that’s not quite poison ivy”.  They look quite similar in my eyes.  Although the old rhyme “leaves of three, let it be” alerts us to poison ivy, while Virginia creeper typically has five leaflets in each leaf, do you really want something that sort of looks like poison ivy growing on your fence?

Thus was my mindset when it started creeping over the fence from my neighbor’s yard.  I was annoyed.  But a few months later, I was becoming enamored with the scraggly plant.  How did it win me over?  I discovered this native plant has a lot of value for wildlife, despite a few downsides for the homeowner.

The Good

I first learned that some caterpillars love it.   For example, there is a Virginia creeper sphinx moth that is very commonly found near host plants.  I don’t especially love moths, but I know that in every stage they are an essential part of the food chain.  Lots of caterpillars means the baby birds in my backyard will not go hungry.  Even better, birds can also eat the berries of Virginia creeper.  In fact, many birds rely on this fruit during the winter.

Along with benefits to wildlife, there are also benefits to the grower.  For the average homeowner, it’s easy to grow.  The plant is drought tolerant once it’s established.  And Virginia creeper seems to thrive despite neglect.  Actually, it can grow a little too well with neglect.

The Bad

I would say that Virginia creeper is invasive in ideal, sunny conditions, but that’s a word we tend to reserve for pesky exotic plants.  Virginia creeper is native to Eastern North America, so we will just call it aggressive.  Trim it away from small trees that you don’t want smothered.  Left out of control, it can also climb up buildings and damage wood siding or stucco.

Virginia creeper is also not especially people friendly.  Eating the berries causes the irritation of the mouth and throat.  And although Virginia creeper doesn’t have the irritating oils of poison ivy, I wouldn’t roll around in it.  Once the leaves are broken, the sap can be irritating to some people.

And the Ugly?

Like beauty, I think a weed is in the eye of the beholder.  Hanging over fences or growing on trellises, Virginia creeper does have a certain appeal.  With enough sun, it can have beautiful red foliage before it loses it’s leaves in the fall.  Sometimes Virginia creeper is sold at nurseries, so I can’t be the only one that thinks it’s beautiful!

I’m curious to try it out as a ground cover in a shady spot in my back yard.  The plant is well behaved in dappled sun.  And it’s supposedly easy to grow from cuttings.  If things turn sour between us, I know it would be difficult to eradicate.  This is a big commitment.  But I think I might be in love with Virginia creeper.

Field Trip to Bald Rock Heritage Preserve

September 13, 2022
By Dan Witten

Polygala curtissiiThe beautiful day brought out a pretty good crowd of 13 plus a neighbor that tagged along for a while.  Susan Jordan began the day by talking about the history of Bald Rock beginning when the highway US276 was built and then when in 2001, Bald Rock was added to the Heritage Preserve program and continuing into what may happen in the future to restore and protect the natural qualities of the area.

During our walkabout, we saw a newly named species, Ambrosia porcheri, McMillan & Provost.  We also saw one of the 6 listed species, Packera millefolium or Blue Ridge Ragwort.  And we saw a not yet named plant, Viola emarginata var. ? or a new variety of Swordleaf Violet.  Plenty of fall asters were flowering as well as Appalachian Milkwort, Polygala curtissii which is pictured here.

It always makes me happy to get out in nature to see what is happening now.  And it is very exciting to be a part of what is going on by working with a survey team to help understand what grows there.

Benefits of Fall Planting

Everyone loves spring planting; the joy of rediscovering the outdoors, the renewal of life, and all that.  Let’s take a moment to consider the benefits of a second planting, Autumn!

It’s a given that the most critical aspect of planting is optimizing new root growth.  Establishing your new plant in its new home will ultimately determine its long-term health and appeal.  That said, planting when both the soil and air are still warm from the summer months is a definite advantage over spring where temperatures are slowly rising.

Planting in the fall effectively provides new plants two seasons to get established before the demands of summer when heat, humidity, and inconsistent rainfall combine with the stress of producing blooms and fruits.  And, of course, the onslaught of hungry insects and pathogens.

Fall potted plant purchases are often a better value than in spring simply because they’re more mature.  If you unpot a nursery plant in the fall, you’ll generally find substantially more root and foliage growth than you’d likely see in the spring. Many nurseries, including the Upstate Native Nursery, begin their seedlings in the fall to winter months in greenhouses, and those that don’t sell in spring, have all summer to grow in a carefully nurtured environment.

And let’s face it; after a long, hot and humid summer, the Autumn months are a joyful time to be outside!

Plan to visit the SCNPS Upstate Native Nursery Fall Sale October 1ST to 22nd!

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


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 [email protected].
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 [email protected] 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.