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 (www.invasiveplantcontrol.com), 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 https://scnps.org/citizen-science-invasive-fig-buttercup

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 www.clemson.edu/regulatory/contact/
or contact your local Clemson University Extension Service office.

In addition, please email [email protected]

NPS volunteers needed for table at Bell Fest

The annual Bell Fest is coming up on Saturday, March 14 at Devil’s Fork State Park in Oconee County.  Our Upstate SCNPS chapter will have an outreach table at the Fest and we need volunteers to work at the table.  This is a great event with lots of folks coming out to see the beautiful mountain wildflower, the Oconee Bell (a.k.a. Shortia glalacifolia).

Volunteers for the NPS table will talk to visitors about NPS activities and projects, answer questions, tell them about the spring plant sale, and sell a few native plants from our greenhouse.  We need at least two people for each shift.  Is easy and fun!
The shifts are:
   9am to 11 (includes set-up of the canopy, tables and display) Needed: two volunteers or more
   11 am to 1pm   Needed: one more volunteer
   1pm to 3:30 pm (includes take down of canopy, displays, and tables.)  Needed: two volunteers or more

This is a great opportunity to introduce new people to our organization.   The Fest runs from 10am to 3pm.To volunteer or for more information, email coordinator Judy Seeley at < [email protected]> or call 864-855-6396.

Before or after your shift, you can go down the trail to see the Bells and participate in the many other activities of the day.
Bell Fest is sponsored by Friends of  Jocassee.  For more information go to:  https://www.friendsofjocassee.org/bellfest.html

photo:  Judy Seeley

Upstate Program: Flower Color and Pollinators

February 18 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm

Did you ever wonder how so much variation in flower color is maintained within species? Have your heard of ultraviolet ‘nectar guides’ on flowers?  On Tuesday, February 18, at Tri-County Technical College 7600 US 76, Pendleton in, Matt Koski, Assistant Professor at Clemson University, will discuss his research on flower color evolution. He will offer some explanations of the forces affecting floral evolution.

Koski grew up in Michigan and became fascinated with flowering plant diversity during field courses as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Later, he worked as a botany intern for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the high desert and Sierra Nevada, and then conducted field work on tropical forest community dynamics in Puerto Rico.  He discovered that flower color variations are due not only to pollinators, but to environmental factors as well.

DETAILED DIRECTIONS TO OCONEE HALL/ PARKER AUDITORIUM:
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 are available for us in the evening.   Please go to https://www.tctc.edu/media/2966/pendleton-campus-map.pdf and print a map of the campus.  There will be signs  marking the meeting entrance.

The program starts at 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public.  Arrive at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.

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 usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic or at Post Office locations nationwide.

 

 

Upstate Jan 18 work morning cancelled

Sorry to announce, but the the Saturday work morning at Blackwell HP is cancelled, again, due to cold and wet weather predicted for Saturday. We will reschedule at a later date when the weather forecast is good. Thank you to all who responded for this project. Please keep your eye out for a future Tiny Letter with the new date. This is important work and we want to give the Bunched Arrowhead a fighting chance against the Privet and other invasive plants.

Upstate Blackwell HP work morning RESCHEDULED

NEW DATE

Due to the very wet weather prediction for this coming Saturday, the Blackwell HP work morning has been postponed to the following Saturday, January 18.  All other information remains the same, as you can see below.
We hope you will come out on this new date to pull, pummel, and pulverize some Privet!  The Bunched Arrowhead will appreciate you for “taking out” the non-native competition.

THE DETAILS REMAIN THE SAME

NPS along with and Naturaland Trust is holding a work morning to remove invasive plants (Privet mostly) from 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 https://www.upstateforever.org/news/ultrarare-plant-habitat-protected-in-travelers-rest)  Thanks also to local residents who raised the alarm about the proposed development and the harm it threatened to the Preserve and the surrounding community.  They joined with conservation groups to fight the proposed development.

The work morning is now Saturday, January 18, 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.

DIRECTIONS

Directions:  From Greenville and points south:  Head up Poinsett Highway towards Travelers Rest and take Highway 25 north.   Just 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 Meeting: To the West and Back

Upstate Program, Tuesday, Jan 21.  Join Dan and Sherrie Whitten as they take us:

To the West and Back – A Journey that Surpassed All Expectations!

Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery? Well, uh, no, not that one. The journey we’ll hear about is a tad more recent, but it too was fueled by a quest for knowledge and filled with the thrill of discovery.

In 2019 Dan and Sherrie Whitten traveled through several western states, hiking, looking and learning.

 

There’s much plant life in the West that is totally unlike that of our lush green southern mountains and adjacent gentle hills, but there are a surprising number of plants that are jarringly similar.

For instance, Maianthemum stellatum / Smilacina stellata (Starry Solomon’s Plume, Starflower, or – the name that says it all! – Star-flowered False Solomon’s Seal)

is immediately recognizable. But wait… and you bring up in your mind’s eye an image of the plant you’re more familiar with, and ponder the ways in which the

two species differ: The western Starflower’s flowers are fewer, larger, and more star-like than those of our familiar False Solomon’s Seal / Eastern Solomon’s Plume (M. racemosum / S. racemosa), and they are borne in a raceme not a many-branched panicle.

Erythronium grandiflorum (Glacier Lily) is another look-alike. At first glance Glacier Lily looks like a robust version of our delicate Trout Lily (E. umbilicatum), but look close! Its leaves are not mottled and its flowers don’t have the purple backing. About it, Flora of North America says “This beautiful species is often very abundant in mountain meadows of western North America, especially in the Rocky Mountains, where it may form spectacular displays.”

Dan and Sherrie Whitten are both Master Naturalists as well as being active SCNPS members. If you’ve been on a field trip with them you can attest to their keen powers of observation, and it will be a pleasure to see western flora through their eyes!

Dan is a Past President and frequent field trip leader of SCNPS’s Upstate Chapter, Past President of the Upstate Master Naturalist Association, an instructor in the South Carolina Native Plants Certificate program, and tour boat captain with Jocassee Lake Tours. Sherrie is President of Friends of Jocassee and Past President of the Upstate Master Naturalist Association.

The program will be on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at the Landrum Depot, 211 S 562, Landrum, SC 29356.  It begins at 7pm.  Arrive at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.

Privet Pull at Blackwell HP Jan 11, 2020

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 https://www.upstateforever.org/news/ultrarare-plant-habitat-protected-in-travelers-rest)  Thanks also to local residents who raised the alarm about the proposed development and the harm it threatened to the Preserve and the surrounding community.  They joined with conservation groups to fight the proposed development.

 

The work morning will be Saturday, January 11, 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.

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 Holiday Party

Let us make merry and enjoy an evening of good fellowship with SCNPS friends.  Join the Upstate chapter on Tuesday, Dec. 10  (not the usual meeting night) at 7pm.  Everyone will bring finger food to share.  NPS will have the beverages.  The fun starts at 7pm at Camperdown Academy at 65 Verdae Commons Drive, Greenville.   Verdae Commons Dr. is opposite Henderson Road at Laurens Rd and across from Bradshaw Mazda. (Please note the address is Verdae Commons Dr., not Verdae Blvd.) From Laurens Road, turn onto Verdae Commons Drive at the stop light at Henderson/Verdae Commons Roads. Follow Verdae Commons about 1/8 mile to the school on the left side.

The book table will be there along with friends old and not-yet-made.

You are also invited to bring a “mystery” seed, seed pod or other native plant part for others to try to identify.  Please mount your item on a cardboard, paper or other backing.  Attach a piece of folded over paper.  On the inside of the fold, give the common and scientific name of the native plant and also your name.  This is not a contest, but it will be fun to see how many you can ID!

Come out to help celebrate the season.  Hope to see you there.

Field Trip to Station Cove Falls

Saturday, March 23  8am to 2pm     Leaders:  Rick Huffman and Dan Whitten

Join Rick and Dan on this 3/4 mile easy trek into Sumpter National Forest.  Station Cove Falls is the premier cove forest habitat in the Upstate to see Spring ephemerals. such at Trilliums, Mayapples, and much more.  A grand reward at the trail’s end is Station Cove Falls!

Rick Huffman says,

“Station Cove Falls (also called Oconee Station Falls) is an ancient, timeless place where geology and plate tectonics have shaped and formed this land into what we see today.  Each year the pilgrimage begins early in February and March to see the promise of a rich bounty of botanical treasures.

Few realize how botanically old this place is or understand the role of amphibolite (Mineral) plays in making this a botanical wonderland. Some have said it’s the best Cove Forest habitat on the Eastern Seaboard, some in authority have claimed this place to be the most ancient place for plants on the planet.  From Blood Root, Trilliums, Mayapple, Violets, Rue Anemone, Hepatica and wood betony, we find ourselves in reverence of this place. We find salvation from our urban hectic lives and we feel at home. I have called this place ‘The Church’. It’s where I go to find that peace, that serenity, the sense of promise and renewal.  The SCNPS has long held this place sacred and we go there on March 23rd to experience the wonders of creation and of time and place. Joins us as we make the journey back in time to find our peace today.”

You don’t want to miss this trip!!  The outing will also include a excursion along the Estatoe at Nine Times Nature Preserve to view many more spring wildflowers.

Meet at 8am at Holly Springs Store, 6491 SC-11, Pickens, SC 29671, at the intersection of Hwy. 11 and SC 178.   Bring water, lunch/snacks and dress in field clothing and hiking or sturdy walking shoes.  A hiking stick is optional.

To sign up contact Rick Huffman at : <ri[email protected]>or call (864) 901-7583.  Please include a cell phone number for last minute information.  Please include the number in your party, whether or not you are willing to be a driver for carpooling, and how many riders you could accommodate.