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

2023 Upstate Spring Native Plant Sale


Once again this spring, the Upstate Chapter will be throwing a large, in-person sale at Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road in Greenville on Saturday, April 15th from 9:00am to 1pm.

Knowledgeable advisors will be on the sale floor to assist customers with plant selection!

As always, the sale will include a wide selection of native shrubs, trees, perennial wildflowers, ferns, vines, and grasses. Please assume lots of impulse buying and bring your own cart or wagon! (Regretfully, we won’t have any to loan out this year).

Cash, credit cards, and checks will be accepted. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be a 3% surcharge on credit card payments to help us cover our Square charges.)

Visit the 2023 Spring Upstate Plant Sale page in April for updated information and a list of plants available!


Guest plant vendors include Carolina Wild, Jeff Miller’s carnivorous plants and Saturnia Farm. There will also be educational exhibits, including some of our favorite beekeepers, a book booth with tomes on Native plants, and an Exotic Invasive Species public service booth.


Many volunteers are needed to run the sale. You don’t need to be a member to volunteer, and you don’t need to be an expert, either! We will be most pleased to train you on the various jobs, from moving plants, assisting customers, writing up invoices, to holding plants while customers continue to shop and loading plants into vehicles once they’re done!  Click HERE to see all the ways and time slots where you can help make the sale a success.


Paid up members and Upstate Native Plant Society volunteers get early access to the plants! There will be an online presale on April 8 and 9. Read the full details on our 2023 Spring Upstate Plant Sale Page. And, please note: There will NOT be early access on the day of the sale. BE ONLINE OR BE — well. You know the rest!

Conestee Nature Preserve Fundraiser: The Great Blue Gathering!

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On Friday, Apr 21, our friends at Conestee will be holding their second annual “Great Blue
Gathering,” an evening of food, drink, music, and fun, including wine and beer, warm fires,
original artwork, dinner in the meadow, sounds of spring, delicious desserts, and baby goats
and other wildlife in your lap (not necessarily in that order). For details and tickets (come join
us, we will definitely be there!), click HERE!

April Flower of the Month – Flowering Dogwood (Benthamidia florida)

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Flowering Dogwood (Benthamidia florida)

The Flowering Dogwood is a wild plant as well as one of the most popular trees intentionally
planted in yards. It is a sub-canopy tree with blocky bark, opposite simple leaves, and white or
pink “flowers,” although actually the petaloid bracts are the showy part and the flowers are a
tight bunch of yellow petals in the center of the bracts. The drupes provide food for birds and
other creatures in the Fall.

Linnaeus gave us the name Cornus florida, which was in use until the 2020 edition of Weakley’s
Flora of the Southeastern United States, when the genus Cornus was separated into three

  • Benthamidia is the genus for Flowering and Kousa Dogwoods
  • Chamaepericlymenum is now the genus for Dwarf Dogwood
  • Swida is the genus for all the other dogwoods of South Carolina, including the Alternate-
    leaf Dogwood, Silky Dogwood, Eastern Rough-leaf Dogwood ,and S. Swamp Dogwood

So the Flowering Dogwood is now called Benthamidia florida.

As April unfolds, the Flowering Dogwood is in its prime. Its flowering around Easter has often
been remarked upon by those of the Christian faith, who have noted that the four showy bracts
have two small and two large ones, resembling the shape of a cross; the tip of each bract is
indented as if pierced by a nail. The edges of the indentations are even stained red, and the
central cluster of flowers resembles a crown of thorns!

So, Happy Easter! And wear a dogwood flower on your bonnet at the Easter Parade!

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

State Park Watch: February 28th Named “Rosenwald School Day”

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Rosenwald Colored
Clarendon Co.
Scanned By: Lori Schwartz

February 28th has been officially designated in South Carolina as “Rosenwald School Day” in honor of the network of schools first established in 1912 by Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington.

Between 1912 and the 1960s more than 5,000 schoolhouses, teachers’ homes, and industrial training workshops were built across 15 southern states. It is estimated that 600,000 African Americans, more than a third of the total number of African American students in the south, attended a Rosenwald School. Of the 500 schools built in South Carolina, only 40 remain standing, largely located in rural areas of the state. 

What, you may ask, does this have to do with the SCNPS? Answer: There’s a movement afoot among a number of conservation-minded organizations here in SC to preserve those remaining schools, both as historic and educational sites, and also as green spaces for their communities. In partnership with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina and others, the SCNPS is proud to support this effort, dubbed “a bridge between cultural preservation and land protection.” 

To learn all about the Rosenwald Schools, visit the National Park Service, HERE. To learn more about the initiative to create a new Rosenwald School State Park, visit the CVSC web site, HERE.

A Nightmare on Elm (and every other) Street

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On March 13, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), on behalf of the SELC, the SCNPS, and 64 other organizations, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting their proposed initiative to address the threat that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pose to our communities and the public at large. It detailed the myriad ways that PFAS are damaging to humans, directly and indirectly, and reads like a horror story (think Stephen King meets Rachel Carson meets The Day After Tomorrow).

Read the whole, nightmarish letter, HERE. But don’t say we didn’t warn you when it keeps you up at night!

The SCNPS Weighs In on Greenville’s Rezoning & Development Plans

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If you live or spend time in Greenville, you can’t help but have noticed the Rezoning and Development signage plastered all over town. There are major changes afoot, and the SCNPS is keeping an eye on things. On March 3 the Upstate Chapter sent a letter to the Greenville Development Code Review Committee expressing concern over some of the proposed changes, including questions, comments, and recommendations for the Committee to consider.
Read the full letter, HERE.