SCDNR Native Gardening Webinar Resources

Sharleen Johnson (Lowcountry Chapter President) recently gave a webinar about native plant gardening for the SC Department of Natural Resources.  Here are some additional resources she has provided — including a link to the webinar in case you didn’t get to see it live!

Parks Mill Open House Cancelled. See alternative below

We recently announced the annual Open House at the Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preservation site near Plum Branch on Stevens Creek, to be held on Saturday, May 16. Regretfully, considering COVID-19 travel restrictions issued by Governor McMaster, we must cancel this event. If you have signed up via e-mail to attend, you will receive a return e-mail confirming the cancellation.

What we will do instead, is put together a Virtual Open House for presentation on the Internet. A couple of us will travel down to Parks Mill just before May 16 and shoot photos and videos of the Site and the Spiderlilies for assembling into a webpage to be posted on the SC Native Plant and Naturaland Trust websites. We will make the URLs for these webpages widely available to interested groups.

So, you will be able to continue “sheltering in place” and still experience the wonder of this Site and the Lilies at their peak. You will be able to see the majesty of the creek valley, hear the babble of the Creek, see some wildlife, and experience the Mill itself, while avoiding contact with those little pesky wildlife, the ticks!

So watch for the release of the webpage link, stay in, wear your masks and gloves, and be safe!


SC Native Plant Society and Naturaland Trus

The Battle Continues

Spring is here! and Fig Buttercup is back. Actually it never left; it was just hiding.

Greenville’s original infestation was discovered in Reedy River floodplain in Lake Conestee Nature Park in 2013. Since then, three source populations have been identified, each on tributary creeks, each about five miles upstream.

Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna) is not “just another invasive plant”. It is so aggressively invasive – and has such a limited period of vulnerability – that it has actually been outlawed in numerous states, including South Carolina.

The Clemson University Dept of Plant Industry continues to reach out to people throughout the state requesting that they recognize and report it. Fig Buttercup is blooming now, and its bright yellow flowers make it easy to spot.

Now is also the optimum time to treat it. This year a varied coalition of agencies and organizations, led by SCNPS, has joined forces to fund a massive effort toward controlling Fig Buttercup in Greenville’s Reedy River corridor.

These sponsors include the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council, Greenville County Soil & Water Conservation District, ReWa, Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Association, and Friends of the Reedy River.

Moist soils along waterways support diverse native plant communities, which in turn support native songbirds, butterflies and other pollinator wildlife species. Invasion of these areas by Fig Buttercup rapidly converts them into monocultures that suppress native plants and wildlife.

Fig Buttercup  threatens to blanket moist sites and streamside land throughout the Southeast. Its early emergence, dense growth, and floating propagules, combined with our common high-rainfall events, facilitate its ability to colonize new territory downstream — as illustrated in the sequence of pictures that accompany this article.

Invasive Plant Control, Inc, a nationally recognized invasive plant control firm out of Nashville (, has been contracted to treat Fig Buttercup along Greenville’s centerpiece Reedy River and its tributaries, including Lake Conestee Nature Park. Several years of treatment will be necessary.

Learn more at

If you suspect that you have or have found
Fig Buttercup, please contact
the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry
at 864.646.2140 or
or contact your local Clemson University Extension Service office.

In addition, please email [email protected]

Wild Orchids Forever Stamp

US Postal Service to Issue
Wild Orchids Forever Stamp

To create a collection of stamps that celebrate the beauty of native orchids, the US Postal Service called upon the talents of SCNPS member Jim Fowler, a talented photographer and knowledgeable botanist, author of Wild Orchids of South Carolina, a Popular Natural History, Orchids, Carnivorous Plants, and Other Wildflowers of the Green Swamp, NC, and a fascinating blog.

Each stamp features a photograph of one of these nine species: Cypripedium californicum, Hexalectris spicata, Cypripedium reginae, Spiranthes odorata, Triphora trianthophoros, Platanthera grandiflora, Cyrtopodium polyphyllum, Calopogon tuberosus, and Platanthera leucophaea. Within the booklet, each stamp design is featured twice. The Wild Orchids stamps will be issued with 10 stamp designs in booklets of 20 and coils of 3,000 and 10,000.

News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtags #OrchidStamps and #FlowerStamps.

Orchids are beloved by plant experts and casual flower lovers alike for their gorgeous colors, unusual look and delicate features.

Part of the largest family of plants on Earth, orchids grow in many climates and thrive under a variety of conditions. There are more than 30,000 species of wild orchids in the world, with more than 100 species native to North America.

Many orchids native to North America are endangered or threatened, making sightings in their natural environment increasingly rare. These striking flowers are native to damp woodlands and numerous organizations across the country are working to preserve their habitats. Orchids also thrive in cultivated gardens or as houseplants.

Jim will speak briefly at a dedication ceremony in Coral Gables, FL, on Feb 21, 2020, and the stamps are scheduled to be released that day. Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through The Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic or at Post Office locations nationwide.



Upstate program: Native Cane restoration

Native Cane Making a Comeback!

The November 19 meeting of the Native Plant Society presents Buzz Williams sharing his dream and project for restoring Native Cane in the Upstate. The program is set for 7pm at Tri-County Technical College, in Parker Auditorium next to Oconee Hall.  The College is at 7600 US 76, Pendleton, SC.   Enter Marshall Parker Auditorium via Oconee Hall.  As you enter the campus at the traffic light (the south entrance), the driveway you want is to the left.  HOWEVER, you cannot turn left as you enter.  Please drive ahead to the first place you can make a u-turn and head back toward the traffic light.  Just before the light, turn right onto the one-way access road in front of the buildings.  You will pass Miller Hall, Anderson Hall  and Pickens Hall before coming to Oconee Hall on the right.  You may park in any of the student/faculty spots along the one-way drive.  There are also two  parking lots just past Oconee Hall.  Lot H-1 and Lot H-2 available for us in the evening.   Please go to and print a map of the campus.  There will be signs  marking the building entrance.

Native Cane once covered 10 million acres in the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas.

Accounts from early explorer and settlers in South Carolina mention great “cane breaks”, large stands of bamboo-like cane (Arundinaria gigantea) along rivers and streams.  Native cane once grew in expansive thickets along the Reedy River in Greenville County, too. “We know this,” said Williams, “because the Revolutionary War battle known as the Battle of the Great Cane Break was fought on the banks of the Reedy River near Simpsonville. Less than 2% if that expanse of cane remains.  Buzz Williams has a plan to restore it in Oconee County.

Who is Buzz Williams?

The founder and former executive director of the Chattooga Conservancy, Williams is heavily involved in the non-profit’s Native Cane Restoration Project, a collaborative cost-share effort with the USDA Forest Service. The project goal is to restore 29 acres of native cane located on the Oconee County side of the SC Highway 28 bridge that crosses the rollicking Chattooga River into Georgia.

Native cane was once used extensively by native people for building material, baskets, flutes, blow guns, arrow shafts, and sleeping mats,” said Williams. “I became interested in native cane because I make white-oak baskets and (then) became interested in the history of Cherokee cane basketmaking.”

At the Nov. 19 meeting, Williams will talk about the restoration efforts by the Chattooga Conservancy and its project partners – including the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, RTCAR (Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources), master gardeners, and volunteers.  So far they have restored five acres.

The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, go to

Upstate Privet Pull at Blackwell Heritage Preserve

Blackwell Heritage Preserve Work Morning Scheduled

NPS along with and Naturaland Trust is holding a work morning to remove invasive plants (Privet mostly) for a newly acquired addition to Blackwell Heritage Preserve near Travelers Rest.  The new property contains two federally protected plant species. It was saved from development through cumulative collaborative efforts by Upstate Forever, the Southern Environmental Law Center, SC Native Plant Society, Greenville County, Naturaland Trust, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Trust Program of the SC Department of Natural Resources.  (Details at

The work morning will be Saturday, November 9, 9am to no later than Noon.  Wear long sleeves and long pants.  There is poison ivy on the site.  Wear gloves, bring shovels or mattocks as we will be pulling up and digging up privet.  Some of the ground is damp, so wear shoes or boots that you can get muddy.

There may be follow-up work days later in November.

Directions:  From Greenville and points south:  Head up Poinsett Highway towards Travelers Rest; take Highway 25 north;, right as you leave the Travelers Rest business district, turn right on Blue Ridge Drive. Continue up Blue Ridge Drive.  The parking area will be on the left in the pasture on the Heritage Trust property, marked with blue paint on the trees on the left side of the road.


From north of Travelers Rest:  take Highway 25 south and turn left on Blue Ridge Drive, before entering the Travelers Rest business district.  Then follow directions above.


To sign-up for the work party and receive any last-minute information, please contact Virginia Meador at [email protected]

Upstate Program: Jim Welch from Nature Scene

Jim Welch presents “Scenes from Nature Scene TV show”

The October 15 Native Plant Society meeting features Jim Welch, co-host of the long-running tv program Nature Scene on PSB.  Dr. Welch will share experiences from his 20-year run, along with Rudy Mancke, creating Nature Scene.  They filmed episodes throughout the USA and around the world.  The program will be held at Landrum Depot, 211 North Trade Ave, Landrum SC, starting at 7pm.   The event is free and open to the public.


Jim Welch grew up in Vermont and recalls tales of sugaring there. One of the ETV shows with Rudy Mancke (who grew up in Spartanburg) was filmed at his old family farm in Vermont. Others were widespread, throughout the United States and to Lake Baikal in Siberia, to Chernobyl, Ukraine, and to the dry provinces and rain forests of Costa Rica.  From those travels and filming Jim still has artifacts and tales, often amusing, of behind-the-scenes mishaps and adventures that never made it into the TV programs.

Welch graduated from Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.  He  went on to study broadcasting at UCLA, the University of Miami and the University of Hawaii. He received the Doctor of Science degree from Lander University in 1998.  He worked in Columbia for many years as a news anchor for WISTV. Later he moved to SCETV as Director of Programming and there produced and hosted a number of series before deciding to devote himself to NATURE SCENE.

Each show was a walk on the beach or through the woods.  Welch and Mancke talked about the animals and plants they encountered.  It gave Welch a chance to observe nature up close and to share it with the audience. Nature lovers loved the show, and the duo did 300 episodes.  Now retired,  Jim Welch lives with his wife on long-held family property in North Carolina where he still walks the trails and enjoys nature.

Upstate/Piedmont Field Trip

Saturday, October 12, 8:00am till ? (all day)Field Trip: Rock Hill Blackjacks HP in York County.

Leaders: Dr. Bill Stringer & Dan Whitten.  Hike: Moderate,   Costs: $25.00 per person for Upstate Chapter van riders.

The Rock Hill Blackjacks Heritage Preserve covers 291 acres at the edge of the city of Rock Hill in York County. The Preserve is a blend of prairie-like meadows, wetlands, upland swamps, wildflowers, wildlife and forests, including the blackjack oaks. The site has Schweinitz Sunflower (Helianthus schweinitzii), a globally rare species. There is also a significant population of Prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum), very common in the midwestern tallgrass prairies, but rare in the eastern states. As a glance back in time, this small area is all that remains of the once widespread prairie system in South Carolina. This surviving remnant prairie is a result of uncommon soil conditions based on localized parent material geology.

SCNPS will sponsor an all-day field trip to the Piedmont Prairie. Upstate chapter participants will meet 8 am at 1309 Grove Road in Greenville. SCNPS will provide a 15-passenger van and others may carpool to the site. However, parking is limited. We plan to arrive around 10 am to the preserve. Final itinerary will be sent prior the event. Please dress appropriately and bring lunch and water.

Our trip will be led by Bill Stringer, retired agronomist, and Dan Whitten, naturalist. The Piedmont Chapter is our host chapter. We are honored to provide this wonderful opportunity to share this unique remnant.

To reserve a space, contact Rick Huffman 864-901-7583 <[email protected]>

Dan Whitten, Naturalist

Rudy Mancke at Upstate Annual Meeting

Rudy Mancke at Upstate Annual Meeting

September 17 @ 7:00 pm9:30 pm

Rudy Mancke highlights the Upstate Annual meeting on Tuesday, September 17.  He will share some of his favorite moments as a Naturalist. Mancke, known to generations of South Carolinians as the co-host of Nature Scene on South Carolina ETV,  will share his stories, memories, and wit at the annual meeting.  The event will be held in Greenville at Camperdown Academy. The address is 65 Verdae Commons Drive. (not Verdae Drive)  There will be refreshments after the program and a chance to speak with Mancke.

Mancke is the current host of Nature Notes on SC Public Radio and SCETV.  He teaches at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nature of Summer with Rudy Mancke

Charleston Green Drinks Resources

Here are some helpful documents the Lowcountry Chapter of SCNPS provided at the Charleston Green Drinks event on June 18.  The link to download each document is below the preview window.

For guidance on what to plant in your yard in coastal SC:

For guidance about what NOT to plant:

For more information about exotic invasive plants, please contact the SC Exotic Pest Plant Council: