The Upstate Chapter participated in the Southern Home & Garden Show in Greenville March 4-6. Steve Marlow worked his usual magic in pulling together a great booth filled with information sheets and a lovely selection of native plants provided by Carolina Wild (Anderson, SC). SC NPS provided 26 volunteers for a total of 23 hours of Show time, and the volunteers collected 44 names of folks interested in native plants. The new “Wild Plants on the Rabbit” brochure was especially popular with booth visitors.
Steve Marlow, Rick Huffman, Dan Whitten (Upstate Chapter President)
The South Carolina Native Plant Society
is excited to announce Wild Plants on the Rabbit,
a new, pocket-sized brochure
about the native and naturalized plants
growing along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
The Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail runs nearly 20 miles, from above the town of Travelers Rest into the heart of Greenville, until terminating in Lake Conestee Nature Park. For much of its length following the Reedy River or the route of an old railroad, the Trail is widely praised — both for its role in encouraging healthful exercise and for the economic boon it’s been to the community.
Other, less obvious, benefits are its value as a wildlife corridor and as an outdoor classroom. The Trail adjoins woodlands and wetlands, gardens and gullies, and it is a convenient place for people to get up close and personal with plants that are not in a garden, home landscape, or park, and that are more than just a blur seen out the car window.
Sharp eyes may spot Trillium, Bloodroot, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, a handful of Sunflowers species, or even the small white flowers of the rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead. Over 100 different plant species are featured in the brochure, with a photograph and a short description, and a map of the Trail is included for reference. Trail users are encouraged to use the brochure as a checklist, checking off plants as they spot them.
A common misconception is that if a plant is growing “wild” it must be native to this area, but many of the plants encountered on the Trail were brought here from other continents, either intentionally or by accident. Many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail, disrupting naturally occurring native plant communities.
Wild Plants on the Rabbit brochures are free and available at Upstate Chapter events (including the April 16th Native Plant Sale at Conestee Park!) and at other outlets listed at this link. (To download a reduced version in PDF format, click here.)
We value our sponsors
who help make projects like this possible!
Bill Sharpton led a group of 13 energetic volunteers in rescuing Christmas ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) from a soon-to-be covered site at Twin Chimneys Landfill in southern Greenville County on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
After lunch at a nearby restaurant, the group headed to a section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail near the Greenville Zoo to plant the rescued ferns. The weather cooperated (high in the low 60’s), and lots of families were visiting the zoo to take advantage of a beautiful winter day in Upstate South Carolina.
This particular section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is in Cleveland Park and has been a special project for the Upstate Chapter since 2013, when SCNPS member Bette Thern noticed some interesting wildflowers there. Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) were growing in prime position right beside the trail, but nearly smothered by a heavy blanket of English Ivy and other invasives. Several Silverbell trees (Halesia tetraptera) decorated the lower canopy.
The site was shown to Scott Drayton of City of Greenville Parks and Recreation. Scott committed Greenville P&R to remove the invasives and underbrush if SCNPS members would mark the wildflowers and Silverbell saplings. SCNPS continues to monitor the site and man occasional workdays.
To visit, park in the lower Zoo parking lot, walk past the Vietnam Memorial and cross the river at the double bridges. The site is located at the end and slightly to the right of the crossing just across the asphalt walking path.