Cullowhee Native Plant Conference at Western Carolina University

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Wednesday-Saturday, July 19-22, 2023

Interested in propagating and preserving native southeastern plant species in the landscape? The annual Cullowhee Native Plant Conference is THE place to be! Both professionals and laypersons stand to gain valuable knowledge from the plethora of field trips, lectures, and workshops on offer.

Held at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, located between the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge mountains, approximately fifty miles west of Asheville, the conference is close to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to the chock-full program schedule, informal sessions allow participants to exchange ideas, and attendees are encouraged to bring materials they wish to share.

Registration is now open. While a number of the field trips are already full, there are still more than enough workshops and talks to make the trip well worth your while!

Litigation Landscape

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PFAS, Again

On June 12, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of its proposals to designate PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS as hazardous substances, and further urging the EPA to additionally designate a whole host of other icky acronyms as dangerous, too. The SCNPS has signed on in support of the letter, which reads in part:

“The devastating health effects caused by PFAS are extensive and well-documented. The chemicals are widespread due to industrial pollution. Our communities have long suffered—and continue to suffer—from exposure to these industrial chemicals through the water we drink, the land we farm, and the rivers we swim in, as well as the fish and crops we eat. When toxic PFAS releases are not timely reported and remediated, PFAS contamination spreads faster than it can be detected, leaving more communities exposed to these harmful chemicals and placed at greater risk.”

To read the SELC’s entire letter (and see definitions for all of the aforementioned acronyms, and more!), click HERE.

Annual Open House Announcement for the Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve

Spider Lily Dates are set for the annual Open House at Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spiderlily Preserve during peak season again.  We will be hosting guided visits on Saturday, May 20 and Saturday May 27 this year.

About the Site:

In July of 2016, the South Carolina Native Plant Society (SCNPS), Naturaland Trust (NT), and Upper Savannah Land Trust (USLT) collaborated to protect a creek full of rocky shoals spiderlilies and a historic gristmill on 13 acres of land and creek-bed on Stevens Creek near Plum Branch, SC.  The Site is owned by NT, the Site and resources are managed by the SCNPS, and USLT holds the conservation easement that legally protects the Site from future development.Grist Mill

This site boasts a wonderful population of the rare native Rocky Shoals Spiderlily (Hymenocallis coronaria), as well as a reasonably well preserved, (restoration in-progress) late 19th-century water-powered grist mill structure.

Since 2016, we have been hosting public open house events during the expected peak Lily flowering period.  At these events the public is invited to come see the beautiful lily population in the Creek, as well as the gristmill complex.  Guides will be available to tour the site and field questions.

To Register:

This year the dates will be Saturday, May 20, and Saturday, May 27. On both dates the site will be open from 10:00 till 12:00 and again from 1:00 till 3:00 pm. The blooming is pretty uniform, so opting for either the morning or afternoon on either Saturday shouldn’t make a difference in the quality of the show. We do ask that you select a morning or afternoon visit time so we can anticipate potential crowding problems.

2023 Parks Mill/Stevens Creek Open House

Reservation form
  • Please enter a number from 1 to 4.
  • Enter the names and email addresses of everyone in your party.


There is a sizeable front porch on the Mill building with seating in case of rain. The site has good tree cover, so temperatures should be reasonably comfortable. Just remember that this is a site set aside to protect and preserve a magnificent native wildflower community and a wonderfully historic grist mill. Tread lightly, stay on trails and “pack-it-in-pack-it-out.”   Wading in the Creek is prohibited for the sake of personal safety, and for the protection of the Lilies. There is a trail from the Mill house to the Creekside to get good lily photo opportunities. However due to frequent high-water flows in the area adjacent to the Creek, exposed rocks and roots can make the footing very treacherous, so children and seniors must be extremely careful. (There is a project in the works to get a trail installed that will offer Creek views with much safer footing — stay tuned!)

We also strongly suggest that everyone wear long pants cuffed inside sturdy socks to ward off ticks.


To find the site, look for SC Highway 283 just east of Plum Branch in McCormick County. The site is on Stevens Creek, just downstream from the SC 283 Bridge over the Creek. The site entrance is directly across Hwy 283 from William Self Road and will be clearly highlighted by signage. Parking is along William Self Road. If anyone in your party is mobility-challenged, you may drive to the site, drop them off, and return to find parking along William Self Road.


All visitors will be required to sign a waiver form that holds The South Carolina Native Plant Society, Naturaland Trust, and Upper Savannah Land Trust all blameless in case of injury during these events.  

Native Plant Garden Volunteer Opportunity: Pickens County Museum

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False Blue Indigo, Baptesia australis


The Pickens County Museum Native Plant Garden is a hidden gem in downtown Pickens — and now that Spring has finally sprung, the garden is blooming! 

Volunteers are needed to tend the garden in the mornings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Join the team, learn the native plants in all seasons, enjoy the company of native plant lovers from NPS, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists, and make the garden flourish!

Contact Carol Asalon for details or to volunteer.

SELC filing on the Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf

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Last month we reported on the appeal the Southern Environmental Law Center has filed on behalf of the SCNPS with regard to the the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s precipitous and ill-advised delisting of the rare Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf.

Over the last several weeks, the SELC has been busy on our behalf, filing FOIA requests and scanning documents received in response.

Those documents (redacted though they are) have prompted additional questions and comments. Click HERE to read the latest communiqué the SELC has sent to USFWS.

Support EPA’s Proposal to Regulate PFAS in Drinking Water — DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 15, 2023

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PFAS contamination of drinking water is widespread in South Carolina, and poses health risks for millions of people. On March 29, 2023 EPA published a proposal that would establish the first national drinking water standards for six PFAS under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

As a follow-up to last month’s post on the subject, we encourage all our readers to sign on to the effort to curtail the quantity of PFAS in our water. Use this handy form to send an email showing your support.

A demonstration of widespread support for EPA’s proposal is crucial for its success. We anticipate industry will attempt to delay or weaken EPA’s drinking water standards.

These partners of the SCNPS invite you to join in support of EPA’s proposal:

Ta-Da! The Final Upstate Spring Sale Plant List (with map locations!)

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The Plant List has been updated with map locations!

So: Get out your pencil and start strategizing! All plants have limited quantities (some more limited than others), so make sure to formulate your sale-day plan accordingly. (And, remember to bring your own wagon — we won’t have any to loan out this year.)

Cash, credit cards, and checks accepted. A 3% surcharge will apply for credit card orders to cover our processing fees. (Sorry! But, you know: non-profit, and all that!)

  • Full details about the sale and links to our FAQ pages can be found HERE.
  • Download a printable copy of the plant list in PDF form, HERE.
  • Download a copy of the plant list in Excel form, HERE.
  • Download the Sale Map, HERE.


RV Park or Rare Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf? SCNPS Files Appeal

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The SCNPS has retained the services of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) to challenge the Spartanburg County Planning Commission’s conditional approval of an RV park on Goldmine Creek, a high-quality, ecologically sensitive Piedmont headwaters stream which, together with the surrounding forest, is home to a rare and threatened (in more ways than one) species, the Dwarf-Flowered Heartleaf. The appeal asks the Court of Common Pleas to reverse the Commission’s decision and to vacate the conditional approval of the site plan. Several homeowners associations and nearby landowners have also appealed the conditional approval of the site plan. The Circuit Court will decide both appeals.

The approved “park” (we use that word lightly) would include 86 parking spaces, 49 “campsites,” a stormwater detention pond, and (wait for it) a septic field. Despite the fact that the County’s own Unified Land Management Ordinance requires that RV park developments “protect ecologically sensitive areas” and “preserve natural features and landscape,” the developer’s site plan takes into account neither the presence of the rare plant nor the existence of ecologically sensitive areas, including important water resources and rich forest habitats. The kicker? The areas around this proposed RV park in Campobello are already protected by conservation easements. (Maybe it’s just us, but the phrase “No RV Park is an island” comes to mind.)

“This beautiful forest, clean stream, and very rare plant are important parts of Spartanburg County’s natural heritage,” said Frank Holleman, SELC senior attorney. “The County’s Ordinance requires that specific steps be taken to protect this important area, but the site plan approved by the Planning Commission would do real harm to this special place.”

In South Carolina, the Dwarf Flowered Heartleaf exists only in a limited band of the upper Piedmont in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Greenville Counties in rich, damp forests. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources considers it a “Highest Priority Species” in the South Carolina Wildlife Action Plan, and it has been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1989. In Spartanburg County, the Department of Natural Resources established the Peters Creek Heritage Preserve to protect one of the areas where this plant is found.

“You can’t find this plant anywhere else in the world, and this development is not designed to protect this special plant and its habitat,” said Kathryn Ellis, president of South Carolina Native Plant Society. “We work to protect South Carolina’s natural heritage, including its important plants, and this site plan threatens these values that we all hold dear.”

The appeal filed yesterday asks the Court of Common Pleas to reverse the Planning Commission’s decision and to vacate the conditional approval of the site plan for the RV Park.

In addition to SELC’s appeal, homeowner associations and nearby landowners have also appealed the conditional approval of the site plan. The Circuit Court will decide both appeals.

The Upstate Spring Sale PLANT LIST Has Arrived!

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The Plant List has Arrived!

  • Plants are organized by type, then alphabetically by Latinate name. You can search for keywords by pressing CMD-F (Mac) or CTRL-F (PC).
  • Members & Volunteers: We will be posting the pre-sale online order form on the evening of Friday, April 7. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL ORDERS — WE WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTING ORDERS SENT VIA THE ONLINE PORTAL, which we will link to from this page on Friday!

So: Get out your pencil and drool over the list below to your heart’s content. All plants have limited quantities (some more than others), so make sure to formulate your sale-day plan accordingly. (And, remember to bring your own wagon — we won’t have any to loan out this year.)

Cash, credit cards, and checks accepted. A 3% surcharge will apply for credit card orders to cover our processing fees. (Sorry! But, you know: non-profit, and all that!)

Full details about the sale and links to our FAQ pages can be found HERE.
Download a printable copy of the plant list in PDF form, HERE.
Download a copy of the plant list in Excel form, HERE.

Once the Pre-Sale has concluded, we will update this list with locations keyed to the Conestee sale map.


Item Name $
Asplenium platyneuron – Fern, Ebony spleenwort (1g) 12
Asplenium platyneuron – Fern, Ebony Spleenwort (4″) 6
Athyrium filix-femina -Fern, Lady (1g) 12
Dryopteris celsa – Fern, Log (1g) 12
Dryopteris marginalis – Fern, Marginal Wood (1g) 12
Matteuccia struthiopteris – Fern, Ostrich (1g) 12
Matteuccia struthiopteris – Fern, Ostrich (1.5g) 20
Onoclea sensibilis – Fern, Sensitive (1g) 12
Osmunda regalis – Fern, Royal (1g) 12
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum – Fern, Cinnamon (1g) 12
Polystichum acrostichoides – Fern, Christmas (1g) 12
Polystichum acrostichoides – Fern, Christmas (3g) 20
Sceptridium biternatum – Southern Grapefern (4”) 6
Achillea millefolium – Yarrow, white (1g) 9
Actaea racemosa – Black Cohosh (1g) 10
Agastache scrophulariifolia – Purple Giant Hyssop (1g) 9
Allium cernuum – Nodding Onion (4”) 4
Ampelaster carolinianus -Climbing Aster (1g) 10
Amsonia tabernaemontana v. salicifolia -Bluestar, Willowleaf (4Tall) 6
Amsonia tabernaemontana v. salicifolia -Bluestar, Willowleaf (1g) 9
Antennaria solitaria – Pussytoes (4”) 6
Antennaria solitaria – Pussytoes (1g) 10
Aquilegia canadensis – Columbine (4”) 6
Aquilegia canadensis – Columbine (1g) 9
Arisaema quinatum – Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Five-leaved (1g) 12
Aruncus dioicus – Goat’s Beard (1g) 12
Asclepias incarnata – Milkweed, Swamp (1g) 12
Asclepias tuberosa – Milkweed, Butterfly (4″) 4
Baptisia alba – White False Indigo (1g) 12
Baptisia australis – Blue False Indigo (1g) 12
Baptisia tinctoria – Yellow Wild Indigo (1g) 12
Bidens aristosa – Swamp Marigold (1g) 8
Cardamine dissecta – Forkleaf Toothwort (4”) 12
Chimaphila maculata – Spotted Pipsissewa (4”) 6
Chrysogonum virginianum – Green-and-gold (4″) 4
Claytonia virginica – Spring Beauty (1g) 10
Conoclinium coelestinum – Blue Mistflower (1g) 8
Coreopsis auriculata – Tickseed (1g) 8
Coreopsis grandiflora – Tickseed, Large Flower (1g) 9
Coreopsis lanceolata – Tickseed, Lanceleaf (1g) 9
Coreopsis palmata – Prairie Coreopsis (4″Tall) 6
Coreopsis tripteris – Tickseed, Tall (1g) 9
Echinacea purpurea – Coneflower, Purple (4″Tall) 6
Erigeron pulchellus – Robin’s Plantain (1g) 8
Eryngium yuccifolium – Rattlesnake Master (1g) 12
Erythronium umbilicatum – Trout Lily, Dimpled (1g) 9
Eupatorium rotundifolium – Thoroughwort,  Roundleaf (1g) 8
Eurybia divaricata – Aster, White Wood (1g) 10
Eutrochium fistulosum – Joe-Pye Weed (1g) 10
Geranium maculatum – Geranium, Spotted Wild (1g) 10
Helenium autumnale – Common Sneezeweed (1g) 8
Helianthus angustifolius – Sunflower, Swamp Narrowleaf (3.5Tall) 4
Helianthus atrorubens – Sunflower, Purpledisc (1g) 9
Helianthus giganteus – Sunflower, Tall (2g) 8
Helianthus glaucopyllus – Sunflower, White Leaf (1g) 8
Helianthus mollis – Sunflower, Ashy (1g) 8
Helianthus schweinitzii – Sunflower, Schweinitz’s (1g) 9
Heliopsis helianthoides – Sunflower, Oxeye (1g) 8
Hibiscus coccineus – Rose Mallow, Scarlet (1g) 10
Hibiscus moscheutos – Rose Mallow, Swamp (1g) 10
Hypoxis hirsuta – Yellow Star Grass (1g) 8
Iris cristata – Iris, Dwarf Crested (1g) 12
Iris virginica – Southern Blue Flag (1g) 12
Liatris microcephalus – Gayfeather, Dwarf (1.5 gal) 12
Liatris spicata – Gayfeather, Blazing Star (4″Tall) 6
Lilium michauxii – Lily, Carolina (2 years) (1g) 15
Lilium michauxii – Lily, Carolina (3 years) (1g) 18
Lilium michauxii – Lily, Carolina (4 years) (1g) 20
Lilium superbum – Lily, Turk’s Cap 15
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower (1g) 8
Lobelia siphilitica – Lobelia, Great Blue (1g) 10
Lysimachia quadrifolia – Loosestrife, Whorled Yellow (1g) 9
Maianthemum racemosum – Solomon’s Plume (1g) 10
Manfreda virginica – American Aloe (1g) 10
Mitchella repens – Partridge Berry (1g) 10
Monarda didyma – Beebalm (4”) 5
Monarda didyma ‘Marshall’s Delight’ – Beebalm (4”) 6
Monarda didyma – Beebalm (1g) 10
Monarda fistulosa – Beebalm, Wild Bergamot (1g) 8
Monarda punctata – Beebalm, Spotted (1g) 8
Nymphaea odorata – American White Water-lily (1g) 20
Oenothera fruticosa – Sundrops (1g) 8
Packera aurea – Golden Ragwort (1g) 10
Parthenium integrifolium – Wild Quinine (1g) 10
Penstemon digitalis – Beardtongue, Foxglove (4”) 5
Penstemon digitalis – Beardtongue, Foxglove (1g) 10
Penstemon smallii – Beardtongue, Small’s (4″) 5
Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ – Phlox, Wild Blue – (1g) 12
Phlox stolonoifera – Phlox, Creeping (4”) 6
Phlox stolonoifera – Phlox, Creeping (1g) 10
Physostegia virginiana – Obedient Plant (1g) 9
Pityopsis graminifolia – Goldenaster, Silk Grass (4”) 5
Pityopsis graminifolia – Goldenaster, Silk Grass (1g) 9
Podophyllum peltatum – Mayapple (1g) 12
Pontederia cordata – Pickerelweed (1g) 9
Pycnanthemum muticum – Mountain Mint, Short Tooth (4Tall) 5
Pycnanthemum muticum – Mountain Mint, Short Tooth (1g) 8
Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides – Mountain Mint, Southern (1g) 9
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium – Mountain Mint, Narrowleaf (4Tall) 5
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium – Mountain Mint, Narrowleaf (1g) 8
Pycnanthemum verticillatum v. pilosum – Mountain Mint, Whorled  (4”) 5
Pycnanthemum verticillatum v. pilosum – Mountain Mint, Whorled  (1g) 9
Ratibida pinnata – Coneflower, Gray-Headed (1g) 9
Rudbeckia fulgida – Coneflower, Orange (1g) 8
Rudbeckia heliopsidis – Coneflower, Sunfacing (1g) 9
Rudbeckia hirta – Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan (4”) 6
Rudbeckia hirta – Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan (1g) 8
Rudbeckia maxima – Coneflower, Giant (1g) 9
Rudbeckia triloba – Coneflower, Brown-eyed Susan (1g) 9
Ruellia caroliniensis – Carolina Petunia (1g) 8
Sagittarius latifolia – Broadleaf Arrowhead (3.5”) 12
Salvia coccinea – Scarlet Sage (4Tall) 6
Salvia lyrata – Lyreleaf Sage, Cancer Weed (1g) 8
Saururus cernuus – Lizard’s Tail (1g) 8
Sceptridium biternatum – Southern Grapefern (4”) 6
Silene subciliata – Smooth Scarlet Catchfly (1g) 10
Silphium terebinthinaceum – Prairie Dock (3g) 10
Sisyrinchium angustifolium – Blue-eyed Grass (1g) 9
Sisyrinchium angustifolium ‘Lucerne’ – Blue-eyed Grass 12
Solidago juncea – Goldenrod, Early (1g) 10
Solidago nemoralis – Goldenrod, Gray (3.5”) 5
Solidago nemoralis – Goldenrod, Gray (1g) 8
Solidago odora – Goldenrod, Sweet (4”) 6
Solidago rigida – Goldenrod, Stiff (1g) 10
Solidago rugosa  ‘Fireworks’ – Goldenrod, Wrinkle Leaf (1g) 10
Solidago shortii – Goldenrod, Short’s (1g) 10
Solidago speciosa – Goldenrod, Showy (1g) 10
Symphyotrichum cordifolium – Aster, Heart Leaf (1g) 9
Symphyotrichum drummondii – Aster, Drummond’s (3.5”) 4
Symphyotrichum elliottii – Aster, Elliott’s (1g) 8
Symphyotrichum ericoides – Aster, Frost (1g) 10
Symphyotrichum georgianum – Aster, Georgia (1g) 9
Symphyotrichum laeve – Smooth Aster (1g) 9
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum – Aster, Calico (1g) 10
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – Aster, New England (1g) 8
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ -Aster, Aromatic 4” 6
Tephrosia spicata – Spiked Hoarypea (1g) 8
Tipularia discolor – Crane-fly Orchid (4”) 6
Tradescantia ohioensis – Spiderwort (1g) 9
Trillium cuneatum – Trillium, Sweet Betsy (4″) 6
Trillium cuneatum – Trillium, Sweet Betsy (1g) 12
Vernonia noveboracensis – Ironweed, New York (1g) 12
Veronicastrum virginicum – Culver’s Root (1g) 9
Yucca filamentosa – Adam’s Needle (1g) 10
Zizea aurea – Golden Alexander (4″Tall) 6
Zizea aurea – Golden Alexander (1g) 10
Andropogon gerardii – Grass, Big Bluestem (1g) 8
Andropogon glomeratus – Grass, Bushy Bluestem (4Tall) 5
Bouteloua curtipendula – Grass, Sideoats Grama (1g) 8
Carex amphibola – Sedge, Eastern Narrow Leaf (1g) 8
Carex appalachica – Sedge, Appalachian (4Tall) 5
Carex cherokeensis – Sedge, Cherokee (4”) 5
Carex cherokeensis – Sedge, Cherokee (1g) 8
Carex laxiculmis ‘Hobb’ – Sedge, Creeping ‘Hobb’ (1g) 8
Carex leavenworthii – Sedge, Leavenworth’s (1g) 8
Carex pensylvanica – Sedge, Pennsylvania (4Tall) 5
Carex radiata – Sedge, Eastern Star (4Tall) 5
Carex texensis – Sedge, Texas (1g) 8
Chasmanthium latifolium – Grass, Inland Sea Oats (1g) 8
Chasmanthium laxum – Grass, Slender Woodoats (1g) 8
Elymus hystrix – Grass, Eastern Bottlebrush (Plugs) 5
Erianthus alopecuroides – Grass, Silver plumegrass (1g) 8
Muhlenbergia capillaris – Grass, Pink Muhly  (4Tall) 5
Muhlenbergia capillaris – Grass, Pink Muhly (1g) 12
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri – Grass, Lindheimer’s (1g) 12
Muhlenbergia reverchonii – Grass, Rose  (4″Tall) 5
Panicum virgatum – Grass, Switchgrass (1g) 8
Rhynchospora colorata – Sedge, White-topped (1g) 9
Schizaachyrium scoparium – Little Bluestem (1gal) 9
Sorghastrum nutans – Grass, Yellow Indiangrass (1g) 8
Tripsacum dactyloides – Grass, Eastern Gama (1g) 8
Aesculus pavia – Buckeye, Red (1g) 10
Aesculus sylvatica X – Buckeye – Painted (1g) 10
Aesculus sylvatica X – Buckeye – Painted (2g) 20
Amorpha fruticosa – False Indigo (Bush) (1g) 12
Aronia arbutifolia – Chokeberry, Red (3g) 30
Aronia melanocarpa – Chokeberry, Black (3g) 30
Callicarpa americana – Beautyberry, American (1g) 12
Callicarpa americana – Beautyberry, American (3g) 20
Calycanthus floridus – Sweetshrub (1g) 12
Calycanthus floridus – Sweetshrub (3g) 30
Cephalanthus occidentalis – Buttonbush (1g) 10
Cephalanthus occidentalis – Buttonbush (3g) 30
Chionanthus virginicus – Fringetree, White (1g) 10
Clethra alnifolia ‘16 Candles” – Summersweet “16 Candles” (1g) 12
Clethra alnifolia ‘16 Candles” – Summersweet “16 Candles” (2g) 15
Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’ – Summersweet (3g) 30
Cornus foemina – Dogwood, Swamp (2g) 12
Diervilla sessilifolia – Honeysuckle Bush (3g) 30
Euonymus americanus – Strawberry Bush, Hearts-a-Bustin’ (1g) 12
Euonymus americanus – Strawberry Bush, Hearts-a-Bustin’ (3g) 20
Fothergilla gardenii – Fothergilla, Dwarf (3g) 30
Fothergilla major v. ‘Mt. Airy’ – Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ (3g) 30
Hydrangea arborescens – Hydrangea, Smooth (3g) 30
Hydrangea arborescens  ‘Annabelle’- Hydrangea, Smooth (3g) 30
Hydrangea quercifolia – Hydrangea, Oakleaf (3g) 30
Hydrangea radiata – Silverleaf Hydrangea (1) 10
Hypericum prolificum – St. John’s Wort, Shrubby (1g) 12
Ilex opaca – Holly, American (1g) 10
Ilex verticillata ‘Southern Gentlemen’ – Winterberry Holly (male) (3g) 30
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ – Winterberry Holly (female) (3g) 30
Ilex vomitoria – Holly, Yaupon Holly (1g) 10
Itea virginica – Sweetspire (1g) 12
Leucothoe axillaris – Coastal Leucothoe (1g) 18
Lindera benzoin – Spicebush (3g) 30
Rhododendron arborescens – Azalea, Sweet (1g) 15
Rhododendron arborescens – Azalea, Sweet (3g) 40
Rhododendron calendulaceum – Azalea, Flame (1g) 15
Rhododendron calendulaceum – Azalea, Flame (3g) 40
Rhododendron canescens – Azalea, Piedmont (1g) 15
Rhododendron canescens – Azalea, Piedmont (3g) 40
Rhododendron colemanii – Azalea, Red Hills (2g) 10
Rhododendron periclymenoides – Azalea, Pinxterbloom (1g) 15
Rhododendron periclymenoides – Azalea, Pinxterbloom (3g) 40
Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-low’ – Sumac, Fragrant (3g) 35
Rhus copallinum – Sumac, Winged (1g) 15
Rosa carolina – Carolina Rose (1g) 15
Sambucus canadensis – Elderberry (1g) 8
Sambucus canadensis – Elderberry (2g) 15
Spirea tomentosa – Hardhack (3g) 30
Swida amomum (syn.w/Cornus) – Dogwood, Silky (1g) 12
Swida amomum (syn.w/Cornus)- Dogwood, Silky (3g) 20
Vaccinium virgatum ‘Brightwell’- Rabbiteye Blueberry (1g) 15
Vaccinium virgatum ‘Krewer’ – Rabbiteye Blueberry (1g) 15
Vaccinium virgatum ‘Ochlockonee’ – Rabbiteye Blueberry (1g) 15
Viburnum dentatum – Viburnum, Arrowwood (2g) 20
Viburnum dentatum – Viburnum, Arrowwood (3g) 30
Viburnum prunifolium – Viburnum, Blackhaw (3g) 30
Viburnum rufidulum – Viburnum, Rusty Blackhaw (3g) 30
Xanthoriza simplicissima – Yellowroot (1g) 12
Xanthoriza simplicissima – Yellowroot (2g) 18
Acer leucoderme – Maple, Chalk (1g) 10
Aesculus flava – Yellow Buckeye (1g) 12
Amelanchier arborea – Serviceberry, Downy (1g) 12
Amelanchier laevis – Serviceberry (3g) 35
Asimina triloba – Pawpaw (2nd year from seed) (1g) 12
Betula nigra – River Birch (1g) 12
Cercis canadensis – Redbud, Eastern (1g) 10
Cercis canadensis – Redbud, Eastern (2g) 12
Cercis canadensis – Redbud, Eastern (3g) 15
Diospyrus virginiana – Persimmon, American (1g) 10
Juglans nigra – Black Walnut (1g) 12
Juniperus virginiana – Eastern Red Cedar (2g) 12
Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip Poplar (1g) 10
Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip Poplar (3g) 15
Magnolia tripetala – Magnolia, Umbrella (2g) 20
Oxydendron arboreum – Sourwood (1g) 12
Oxydendron arboreum – Sourwood (2g) 20
Oxydendron arboreum – Sourwood (3g) 30
Taxodium distichum – Bald Cypress (2g) 15
Aristolochia macrophylla – Dutchman’s Pipe (3 Tall) 10
Bignonia capreolata – Cross vine (1g) 10
Centrosema virginianum – Spurred Butterfly Pea (1g) 10
Gelsemium sempervirens – Carolina Jessamine (1g) 10
Hydrangea barbara – Hydrangea, Climbing (1g) 10
Lonicera sempervirens – Coral Honeysuckle (1g) 10
Passiflora lutea – Passion Flower, Yellow (1g) 10

Alien Invaders: Hedera helix (English Ivy)

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by Special Contributor Matthew Thomas

Quick: What first comes to mind when I say “English Ivy”? 

For some folks it’s the Groves of Academe, like Harvard Yard or “The Quad” at Yale, storied ivy-covered walls brimming over with history, erudition, and romance. 

But if you’re like me (and I know you are), you envision an old-growth hardwood forest overrun, a neighbor’s lawn smothered, and too-many-to-name native species choked to death by the menacing, all-encompassing vine.

Invasive species: English IvyAmong my favorite gardening activities, I rank removing invasives as second-only to planting natives. Unfortunately, these days I have far more of the former than the latter to keep me busy. And English Ivy (Hedera helix) has become my personal favorite plant to hate. (Which, considering Kudzu and Thorny Olive — on which, more later— is saying quite a lot!)

Introduced to the Colonies around 1727, the “rapid-growing” and “low-maintenance” (read “aggressive”) English Ivy was advertised as the perfect ground cover. And, if by “perfect” one means, “smothers everything in its path,” the vine certainly knows few equals. 

Invasive species: English IvyThese days, it seems like it’s growing just about everywhere you look. I’ve seen it climbing solitary trees in the middle of fields, growing in the wild places where I explore and hike, and of course overtaking vacant properties, small and large alike. 

It’s a hardy plant, capable of surviving and thriving just about anywhere, from the mountains to the Sandhills to the Coastal Plains. It can not only withstand cold temperatures, it has even been known, if conditions are right, to continue to grow (albeit at a slower rate) during the coldest months, climbing bare and dormant deciduous trees, and killing them by Springtime.

As it establishes itself onto a woody plant, it traps moisture and inhibits the host’s ability to photosynthesize, causing a variety of issues including leaf spots, sooty mold, bacterial leaf spot, Anthracnose fungus, and root and stem rot. The beleaguered and weakened host plant is susceptible not only to death, but also to felling, due to the massive added weight of the vine itself.

Invasive species: English IvyIt’s not just on the ground or scaling trees where Hedera helix wreaks its havoc. As it wends its way over buildings and other structures, it traps moisture against walls and roofs, and works its tough roots into bricks and mortar, causing a myriad of structural problems as well as permanent damage to painted surfaces, stucco, and even vinyl.

We’ve all seen it: English Ivy, like its insidious cousin, Kudzu, can smother entire properties, creating a monoculture that covers, and sometimes destroys, every plant and structure in its path. 

All-in-all, it’s one very tough, insidious, and ubiquitous plant, and one that, once established, can be quite a challenge to eradicate.

Invasive species: English IvyWhile acknowledging that herbicides are a less-than-perfect solution, I’ve found that foliar spraying with Roundup when new growth emerges during the Spring months to be very effective. I follow up with smaller treatments to make sure I get any plants that were missed. Using this method, I can usually get rid of it completely in 2-3 growing seasons. 

That said, the incredibly knowledgeable folks at the South Carolina Native Plant Group Facebook group have generously shared with me some marvelous and ingenious suggestions for non-poisonous methods for dealing with the vine, including solarization, base cutting, smothering, and — if you happen to have one handy — a herd of goats! (I doff my cap to the group, and thank them for their generous responses!)

In the wild, I also pull up seedlings whenever I find them growing, and I cut and then paint vines that I find climbing trees. I’ve heard that foliar spraying on cold winter days can be effective but I’ve yet to try this method. I do recommend adding a surfactant to any herbicide when applying it to English Ivy.

Invasive species: English IvyThe pictures I’ve selected to illustrate this article show just how invasive the vine can be. In several you will see trees that have substantially weakened; in others you’ll see some that have been smothered to death. 

And, if you look closely, you will also notice another species on my most-wanted list, Elaeagnus pungens, aka Thorny Olive. (Keep an eye out for my next article featuring this insidious invasive!) Elaeagnus pungens is often found growing together with Hedura helix, along with several other well-known aggressive, invasive species. 

Given the destruction these two plants can (and do) cause, you would think that the SCDNR would have made selling them illegal in our state. But, sadly, both Hedura helix and Elaeagnus pungens are still legally grown and widely sold by local nurseries and big-box stores to this day.

To read more about these and other insidious species, refer to previous SCNPS articles on invasive groundcovers and their native alternatives and native groundcovers for shade gardens.

From the field,

Matthew Thomas

Special Contributor