DHEC Board Rejects Permit for Spartanburg RV Park in Rare Plant Habitat

Article by Frank Holleman

Dwarf Flowered Heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora)

On December 20, the DHEC Board met in Columbia and by a vote of 4-2 rejected a septic permit for a proposed RV Park in the watershed of Goldmine Creek in Spartanburg County, which contains many populations of the rare Dwarf Flowered Heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora). Local residents objected to the proposal because the proposed park is located in a beautiful rural area that has been the focus of conservation initiatives, including several conservation easements. They objected particularly to the proposed septic system, on a hillside overlooking Goldmine Creek and discharging into groundwater on which the community’s wells depend.

The community conducted an ecological survey, which demonstrated that the Creek was a high quality Piedmont stream and that along its banks were many populations of Dwarf Flowered Heartleaf and at least one population of Ashy Hydrangea. The Heartleaf is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act; it exists only in parts of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Cherokee Counties and a few counties in the southern North Carolina Piedmont. The Ashy Hydrangea is identified as a species of concern in South Carolina by SC DNR. Both plants are dependent upon groundwater for their survival and some of the populations live right on the edge of the stream and are impacted by the stream’s water.

Plans for proposed RV park, from goupstate.com

Because of the threats to the plants and problems with the septic system permit, the S.C. Native Plant Society and Upstate Forever supported the community’s objections, in a filing with the DHEC Board submitted on our behalf by the Southern Environmental Law Center. The DHEC Board agreed that the septic permit was wrongly approved. The developer now must decide whether to appeal the decision, or to reapply for a permit for a redesigned system, or to rethink the project.

In the recent past, the Society has also spoken up for the rare Heartleaf in proceedings before the Greenville County Planning Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Peters Creek Heritage Preserve in Spartanburg was created to protect populations of the Heartleaf, at the urging of our member Dr. Gil Newberry.

The 2022 Upstate NPS Spring Plant Sale is ON!

Enthusiastic NPS members are needed to put on a great plant sale. Our Motto: “If everyone does a little, no one does TOO much.”  YOU have an opportunity for leadership! You don’t have to be an expert, just willing to organize one aspect of the sale and then make it happen.

Where: Conestee Nature Preserve, 840 Mauldin Rd., Greenville, SC 19607
When: April 1st – 2nd, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Here are the available opportunities:


  • Volunteers Coordinator: Recruit volunteers, maintain list/database of volunteers, work with volunteers on day of sale.  List of past volunteers will be provided.
  • Guest Vendor Liaison: Recruit and work with guest vendors, provide colored plant price stakes, collect, and count price stakes at end of sale.
  • Publicity Team: Create, print, and distribute flyers, press release and calendar listings and submit to local media. Post on local on-line calendars, arrange tv interviews, seek out new avenues of publicity.
  • Special Projects: Identify and invite presenters/demonstrations to the sale. Obtain and sell special merchandise at the sale (fertilizers, seeds, tee shirts, etc.)
  • Site Manager: Supervise site set-up Friday, April 1 and set-up and tear-down on Saturday.
  • Plant Transport Coordinator: Find and organize people with trucks and other helpers to load and transport plants from the greenhouse to the sale site. Do the same to return left-over plants on Saturday afternoon.
  • Nursery logistics:  Keep vehicles and plants moving out of the nursery (on their way to the sale) in an organized manner.
  • Plant pickup at the sale leader:  Customers must present their paid receipt to pick up plants being held in the Holding area.  This volunteer will be sure the area moves smoothly.


  • Plant Sale Coordinator: Work with and coordinate the activities of the plant sale committee. Kathy Harrington
  • Plant Ordering Team: Decide what plants are wanted for sale, locate suppliers and prices, order plants, arrange for delivery/pick-up of plants. Kay Stafford & Cathy McCurdy
  • Plant Picture ID Cards: Create and have laminated any new picture ID cards needed. Cathy Bergin
  • Plant Information Labels: Print labels to attach to each plant. Order supplies if needed. This job requires availability and flexibility two weeks before the sale. Kitty Putnam
  • Equipment Transport: Pick-up and transport tables, canopies, signs, etc. from the storage unit and return them on Saturday. Requires a truck. Tom Simpson
  • Gatekeeper/New Member Sign-up: Entrance times: 8:30-9am am for PAID MEMBERS only. 9am to 1pm for the general public. At entrance gate, check member IDs from a master list, sign-up new members on the spot, and actively solicit people to join the plant sale email notification list. Mary Margaret Dragoun
  • Tally Up Leader:  Add up plants that customers are ready to buy and create a receipt to take to  the cashers.  Keep customers organized and directed to the next available cashier. Nia Payne
  • Hospitality: Buy, bake or recruit bakers for volunteer refreshments. Provide water and coffee on both Friday and Saturday. Purchase cups, napkins, etc. Diane Coiner
  • Take plant inventory both pre- and post-sale: Coordinate an inventory of the plants on the ground late Friday and again immediately when the sale closes on Saturday. This requires at least two teams of two each on both Friday and Saturday. Susan Lochridge

Contact Kathy Harrington at [email protected] to volunteer or for more information.

A tribute to Dr. Edward O. Wilson (Jun 1929 – Dec 2021)

Photo compliments of The Times Higher Education

by Doug Lockard

The renowned Harvard professor Dr. E.O. Wilson is one of the most brilliant and inspiring minds of our time.  I say “is” because although he’s no longer with us, his insights continue to resonate within our minds.  The achievements of this modern-day Darwin will remain at the forefront of ecological scientific development as well as a grass-roots movement by those of us asking the question “What can I do?”’

A multiple Pulitzer Prize winner, this legendary thinker and visionary will perhaps be most remembered for his new theories in ecology, evolution, and biodiversity that have changed the way we view the world and our place in it.

With the publication of his 1967 book The Theory of Island Biogeography he awakened the scientific community with ideas of such vitality and inspiration that they have re-invigorated the study of what he called ‘old-fashioned biology’.

He pioneered a new discipline called sociobiology and in his 1975 book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis he extended his ideas on social insect behavior to animals and then humans.  In doing so, he created his greatest legacy:  an awareness of the richness of the planet’s biodiversity, humanity’s disruption of these ecosystems, and the consequences of our actions (or inaction).

Dr. Wilson believed the creation of our planet’s diversity developed over 3 billion years of evolution; a succession of biological dynasties of animals that occupy the seas, followed by another 350 million years to assemble the rain forests in which half or more of the species on earth now live. Today’s scientists have only begun to understand how our ecosystems work, and it would be reckless to suppose that biodiversity can be diminished indefinitely without threatening the lives within them, including humanity itself.

“Earth has at last acquired a force (humanity) that can break the crucible of biodiversity.” 

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

The work of Dr. Wilson has enabled the scientific community to develop methods to make meaningful predictions about diversity in lakes, forests, and other habitats, their destruction and fragmentation, and the extinctions that would follow.   In 1993 Dr. Wilson estimated that Earth was then losing something on the order of 30,000 species per year.  More recently, scientists now believe us to be in the 2nd stage of the Earth’s “Sixth Extinction: The Anthropocene Epoch”  and that “as much as a fifth of the world’s plants and animal species have already been lost”.

Dr. Wilson left us with a cautionary tale: (paraphrased)

Future generations will not forgive us for carelessly wasting so many other species on our watch; however, I believe mankind can pass from conquerors to stewards.  Humanity is part of nature, you see.  One of the species that evolved among these other, now threatened, species. The more closely we identify ourselves with the totality of life in our ecosystems, the more quickly we will be able to discover the sources of human sensibility and acquire the knowledge on which an enduring ethic, and a sense of preferred direction, can be built.

As to how we might become better stewards, I leave you with these thoughts from E.O.Wilson:

“People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized.”

“You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.”

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”

Recommended Reading:  

Dr. Wilson has published dozens of essays and books, and Bookscrolling.com provides a excellent synopsis of a few his more widely distributed works, including these recommended reads for interested SCNPS members and friends:

  • Anthill: A Novel (Fiction 2010) – This fact-based inspirational and magical story of a boy who grows up determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.
  • The Origins of Creativity (2017) – An examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short.
  • Half-Earth (2016) – To prevent 6th mass extinction of species, Dr. Wlison proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem.
  • A Window on Eternity: A Biologist’s Walk Through Gorongosa National Park  (2014) – The remarkable story of how one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world was destroyed, restored, and continues to evolve.
  • Biophila (1984) – An intensely personal essay in which Wilson reflects on his own experiences exploration of natural systems and examines the essential links between mankind and the rest of the living world.
  • The Diversity of Life (1999) – Dr. Wilson describes how the species of the world became diverse, why whole species are today threatened by human development, and how the loss of biodiversity is irreversible.

Native Plant Propagation

By Randi Oury, SCNPS Upstate Member

It’s official! Summer has come to an end.  The leaves are changing to splendid colors and beginning to fall from the trees. Winter winds and colder temperatures are upon us. To many of us, this is our cue to start planning for next year’s garden. Autumn may also raise some questions about next year’s propagation. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. How do I store my seeds?  How and when is the time to start seeds in the spring?  Do they need stratification? What plants do best with cuttings?

On occasion, the SCNPS will receive similar inquiries about the propagation of specific plants.  And though we’re always glad to answer your questions, it’s also helpful to have your own resource materials at hand, whether its books, manuals or great websites – and they are numerous.  In this brief article, I will review and summarize several propagation books and provide several online resources we are fond of here.  While all are good, each has a different style and level of detail. Here’s my recommended short list that is not in any particular order.

 Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Berries, Shrubs, Trees, and Houseplants by Lewis Hill.

I found this book to be a well-organized paperback and excellent source for beginners, with simply written, easy to follow steps and nice graphics.  The more advanced gardener may also discover new techniques and tips to improve their own results. The book is full of excellent detail with illustrations and specific plant profiles for individual species, propagation methods for seeds, herbaceous plants, trees, shrubs and vines, and grafting. First printed in 1985, the book is still widely available on Amazon both new and used.




Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Harry R. Phillips

In the introduction of this book, the author describes the book as, “… designed, first, to give you a thorough grounding in the fundaments of gardening with native plant material and, second, to provide specific information on the propagation and cultivation of some one hundred genera of native plants.”  And it delivers!  This book is geared for the Naturalists and Native Plant enthusiasts and provides excellent information. “Based on ten years of pioneering research at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers features practical, easy-to-follow methods for raising native plants from seeds, cuttings, and division-specific instructions on the propagation and cultivation of plants representing nearly 100 genera of wild flowers, carnivorous plants, and ferns more than 250 illustrations, including 32 color photographs.”  Also printed in 1985 and available on Amazon both new and used.  


Native Plant Propagation by Jan A.W. Midgley

Now in its 5th edition, this spiral-bound, self-published manual contains intensely detailed information for a couple of hundred individual species emphasizing plants found in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee and her home state of Alabama.  Midgley owned a native plant nursery for thirty four years and has been gardening with native plants for 40 years.  She also lectures and writes about the cultivation and propagation of native plants. The author is a noted and prolific writer on perennial flowers and plants of numerous states in the southeast and beyond.  Her Southeastern Wildflowers: Your Complete Guide to Plant Communities, Identification, Cultivation and Traditional Uses (1999) is a classic reference book.  In the introduction of Native Plant Propagation the author states that, “Growing plants from seeds is the main focus of this book because seed grown plants provide more assurance for the longevity of a species.” The first 10 or so pages covers the author’s preferences and methodology for division, layering, cuttings and rhizomes.  The next section covers detailed plant profile data for perennial flowering plants arranged alphabetically by both the Latin and common name. Individual species include forbs, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees. Obviously extremely knowledgeable, Midgley provides a highly detailed explanation of propagation methods.  This book cuts straight to the chase.  You won’t find illustrations, photos or lovely drawings.  You will, however, find pretty much anything you might need to know about the propagation method of each species, habitat where it’s found, when and how to germinate and other special qualities regarding each plant.  I know a few naturalists and native plant cultivators that find this their “favorite go-to book”. Many of her other books are found on Amazon or Books-A-Million, but this one is only available directly from the author.  

Self-published. For a single copy mail a check for $25 to address below and the author promptly sends the material. Cost includes the book and shipping. 

Jan Midgley
10560 W. Center Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226
[email protected]

Any one of the above-referenced books would offer something for anyone delving into native plant cultivation.  The appreciation of native plants, and propagating rather than just “collecting” them, forwards their genetic strength and survival.   

“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.”
-Indigenous American Proverb

Additional Online Resources

Home & Garden Information Center | Clemson Cooperative Extension | Clemson University, South Carolina

http://namethatplant.net/  This site, created and maintained by Upstate member Janie Marlow has a wealth of information and photos of regional native plants in all stages of growth, including seeds.

SCNPS Symposium: November 3rd-7th

SC Native Plant Society 2021 Symposium: Sustainability & Resilience

The South Carolina Native Plant Society invites you to our 2021 Symposium, hosted by the Lowcountry chapter, from November 3rd-7th!

We’ve got a great line-up of speakers on Wednesday 6:30-8:00 pm, Thursday 6:30-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00-10:30 AM, followed by the SCNPS Annual Meeting — all “Virtual” via Zoom and Facebook Live.

On Saturday afternoon we’ll transition to in-person events in Charleston, with outdoor rotating learning sessions and a social.

And on Sunday morning we’ll wrap up with a bang with a selection of three engaging field trips!

For more information about these talks and in-person activities, see the 2021 Symposium event page.  We hope to see you online and/or in person this week!

April 2021 Upstate General Meeting

Tricia Kyzer
SC Master Naturalist

One Wild Community; Finding Our Place in the Wild

Speaker:  Tricia Kyzer


Take a photographic journey with naturalist and environmental educator Tricia Kyzer exploring how ecological communities we live in can shape us and become a part of our story and how we can find our place in our wild communities.

About:  Tricia Kyzer holds a BA in Elementary Education from North Greenville University and is a Statewide SC Master Naturalist. For the past 15 years Tricia has worked with people of all ages leading them into making their own connections to our wild places.

Watch the Video

Upstate Chapter March General Meeting

Downy Gentain (Gentian puberulenta)
Photo by Laura Moses

‘Restoring Two South Carolina Bays with Rare Plants’, by Lisa Lord and Sudie Thomas

Carolina Bays are a fascinating and vital phenomenon of the Atlantic Seaboard, mainly found along the boundary between North and South Carolina. These bays were discovered in the 1930s when aerial photography came into existence. Oval in shape and ranging in length from a few hundred feet to up to 6 miles these depressions have been found to be valuable habitat for our most rare plants and animals. Estimates reveal that at one time as many as 2.5 million Carolina Bays existed.  Unfortunately, most have been drained or otherwise obliterated by agriculture and/or logging.  How they came into existence, all the same shape and positioned in the same northwest to southeast configuration, is still debated.

In 2018 SCNPS was able to acquire the Kingburg Bay located in Florence County.  The Nature Conservancy acquired and passed on to the Society the Lisa Matthews Bay located in Bamberg County.

Lisa Lord, a certified Wildlife Biologist, is presently the Conservation Program Director for the Longleaf Alliance and she is also Chair of the Kingsburg Bay for the SCNPS.  Sudie Thomas, Chair of the Lisa Matthews Bay is also a Wildlife Biologist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Both are longtime members of the SCNPS and have been involved have been involved in numerous land management, restoration, and conservation projects.

Watch the Video

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 [email protected].

Retail nurseries featuring native plants — Updated today!

The SCNPS Native Plant Nursery List features nurseries, garden centers, and seasonal non-profit plant sales that emphasize native plants, organized by region.

If you would like to bookmark this list for future reference, we recommend bookmarking this page instead (and scrolling down to the “Retail Nurseries in South Carolina” section at the bottom of the page) to ensure that you’re always viewing the most up-to-date version of this resource.