The Battle Continues

Posted on |

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

Comments are closed.