Pickens County Museum Native Plant Garden

Photo by Rick Huffman

In 2008, the Pickens County Museum and Culture Commission undertook the addition of an indigenous heritage landscape around the new addition of the Pickens County Museum.  With the initial design by Rick Huffman and Richard Powers, the Joe and Maggie Ramply Native Plant Garden was opened in 2009.

Since then, a team of volunteers have lovingly maintained this unique garden as one of the premier exhibits native plants in the Upstate.  It’s also another example of how our Upstate organizations work together for the betterment of our ecosystems.  For more than 13 years now, volunteers from the Upstate Chapter of the SC Native Plant Society, the Master Gardeners of the Foothills, and the Upstate Master Naturalists Association have collaborated to maintain this showcase.

If you haven’t made it yet, you need to, and if you have, it’s time for another visit as the display is constantly changing.

CLICK HERE for more information on the garden or for volunteer opportunities contact Judy Seeley at [email protected]

Join the Upstate Communications Team

Communications are key to achieving the goals of the SCNPS:

  • To Educate and inform the importance of native plants
  • To support efforts to protect habitats and endangered species
  • To encourage the use of native plants in public and private landscaping
  • To promote the commercial availability of native plant materials

Several positions have opened up in our Upstate Communications Team and we’re looking for a variety of skill sets to contribute to this important program.

Publicity Chair:  Due to Covid 19 we are currently without a Publicity Chair on the Board of Directors.  This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to help convey the important conservation message to the Upstate community and keep our friends abreast of SCNPS Upstate activities.  The job involves developing relationships volunteer writers and photographers to create meaningful and timely articles, and orchestrating the distribution by the various media outlets including press releases, e-mail notices, newsletter, social media, and print.  There’s plenty of room for growth and innovation.  Let your communication skills and creativity take wing and realize the satisfaction of making an exponentially beneficial impact on your community!.

Newsletter Editor:  Keith Manchester has been our Editor of the printed newsletter ‘Upstate Happenings’ for the past 10 months and we appreciate his willingness to take on and learn the job.  Keith has a new paying job which he needs to focus his time and energy so he’ll be leaving us after the December newsletter. We’re sorry to see him go, but grateful for his contribution and we wish him well in his new endeavors.  We all do what we can, and now it’s time for someone else’s turn!

More Opportunities:  The two important positions above are considered key to the Upstate Media Team, but other talents and contributions are needed.   Other skill sets that would complement the Upstate Media Team would include an assistant editor for the newsletter, a new social media editor, a graphic artist, an Upstate website editor, a photo/video editor, just for example.  Experience in a variety of software platforms would also be helpful, and we’re currently utilizing WordPress, InDesign, MailChimp, Squarespace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Keith and others are here to help you get started.  Remember; it’s not about how much time you have, it’s about how you can help with the time you do have.

We hope to have piqued your interest, and if so, please contact our Upstate Chapter President Virginia Meador to discuss.


Upstate Zoom Meeting Tues. Nov. 17

Upstate General Meeting with Helen Mohr

Where:  Zoom Virtual Meeting
When:  Tuesday Nov 17, 2020 from 6:30pm 
Our speaker for November’s meeting is Helen Mohr, M.S., and she will present, “Fire in the South Carolina Mountains, Past, Present and Future”.  Helen is a Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station at Clemson, and the Director of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists.  She and her student-led fire crew were recently featured in Clemson World in the article “Fire Tiger”. She has many years of experience working with fire as a firefighter, researcher, communicator and mentor.
Helen just returned from a 3-week stint fighting fires out in Colorado while spending nights in a tent! Here in South Carolina, she is an expert on using fire to benefit forests with controlled burns. During her talk, Helen will discuss fire ecology with an overview of prescribed fire in the SC mountains.
ZOOM LINK:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82305733563?pwd=NS9hNDM5ZFkzZGxoR0l2eWp3QjJ5QT09

Meeting ID: 823 0573 3563
Passcode: 087244

Join the meeting at 6:30 for some Zoom social time.  The program will start at 7pm.

“Wild Plants on the Rabbit” has been updated!

In Fall 2020, a 2nd edition was published, featuring an expanded map that includes the proposed Trail extension along the Laurens Road corridor and showcasing a few more plants!

SCNPS is pleased to announce
a 2nd edition of the popular
“Wild Plants on the Rabbit” —

SCNPS announces the second edition of “Wild Plants on the Rabbit”, a pocket-sized brochure showcasing native and naturalized plants on the highly acclaimed Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail. In addition to a few more plants, the revised brochure’s map includes the proposed Laurens Road corridor extension.

The 20-mile Trail allows people to get up close and personal with plants outside a cultivated setting. A common misconception is that a plant growing “wild” must be native to this area, but many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail.

The brochure features over 100 trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and wildflowers, with a photograph and a short description. SCNPS encourages people to use Wild Plants on the Rabbit as a checklist, checking off plants as they see them. Sharp eyes may spot Beardtongue, Trillium, Bloodroot, Devil’s Walkingstick, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, various Sunflowers, and even the small white flowers of the globally rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead!

Almost 400 species have been documented on the Trail. Visit https://SCNPS.org/swamprabbit for links to this more complete inventory and to submit photos for identification.

Wild Plants on the Rabbit brochures are free and available at Upstate Chapter events and at other outlets listed here — https://scnps.org/swamprabbit#a_outlets

A big thank you to our sponsors,
who help make projects like this possible!


The Importance of Native Trees

Furman University, Photo by Doug Lockard

By: Doug Lockard

You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to appreciate the benefit of trees.  Just look at the children, the birds, and the butterflies.  I always pause to consider the expression ‘preserving our way of life’ and how relevant that is when speaking of the conservation mission of the SCNPS and so many other great organizations.  Trees are quite literally a part of our ‘way-of-life’.  We humans and the wildlife so necessary to our own existence are imperiled hand-in-glove with that of our tree population.

Most of us are aware today that the incredibly rapid economic growth in the world, and that however unwittingly or unintentioned, that development has and continues to seriously degrade the earth’s capacity to sustain its plants and animals.  In doing so, we threaten our own well-being today and our children’s future.

This essay then, addresses the question we so often ask ourselves; “What can I do?”.

To read more visit: https://scnps.org/education/homeowners/the-importance-of-native-trees

Native Hikes Project

By: Doug Lockard

There are many wonderful trees native to our ecosystems here in South Carolina, and as such, are beneficial to the wildlife that evolved her alongside them.  This list below is compliments of the US Forestry Service here in our state.  These trees, if propertly planted, will very likely live longer, require less maintenance, and bring more benefit than the wide variety of non-native trees available commercially here.

White Turtlehead, Photo by Janie Marlow

My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park.  It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting.  We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’.  It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot.  It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.

Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence.  It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project.  There are other plant identification aps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well.  If anyone is interested in this project, drop me a line at [email protected].  

To learn more visit: https://scnps.org/activities/native-hikes-project

Upstate Nursery Fall 2020 Native Plant Sale

The South Carolina Native Plant Society is committed to our core mission of educating the public about the essential role of our heritage native plants in the restoration of the Upstate’s ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten public health here in the Upstate; nevertheless, we remain determined to making SC native plants available to our membership and friends. We’re pleased to announce that our annual Fall Sale will be held at our Upstate Native Plant Nursery as it has in the past, with a few innovative twists.

Autumn is the best time of year to plant and this year we have a selection of over 4,000 native species, many of them difficult to find in commercial nurseries. This years collection includes shrubs, perennial wildflowers, vines, ferns, grasses and some trees. We have more native azaleas than we’ve ever offered in past Fall Sales as well as pollinator plants for butterflies and birds, and native plants that flower throughout the growing season.



If each of us restored even a portion of our property back to native plants, our combined efforts would improve water quality as well as increase habitat for wildlife. Native plants are increasingly desirable for the creation of ‘living landscapes’, making our residential and commercial properties part of a biological corridor by using native plants that evolved with local wildlife and which contribute meaningfully to the food webs that support them. These native plants are ideally adapted to our soils and climate and once established in an appropriate site, generally require less water and maintenance (e.g. fertilizer) than plants from other parts of the world.


TWO WAYS to shop and purchase plants this year:

  1. Shop online and pick-up your order at the Upstate Native Nursery.
    • After browsing the ‘Native Plant Price List’ above, refer to the ‘CONTACT’  information below to place your order by e-mail.
    • Follow the instrutions on the ‘Native Plant Price List’ to prepare your order and we recommend you include the Scientific Name for certainty of species as in some cases we have several different variants in stock. The same for size and quantity.
    • Our Sales Team will receive your request, review available inventory, and respond by sending an estimate. Upon your response to the estimate, an invoice will be prepared using our SQUARE™ app with online payment instructions.
    • Once your payment is received, your order will be scheduled for collection and you’ll be notified as to when and where you can pick up your plants.
  2. Make an appointment to shop our native plant collection in person.
    • If you’d prefer, a limited number of appointments may be made to visit our Upstate Native Nursery in person. Simply refer to the ‘CONTACT ‘ information below and let us know when you’d like to visit (a range of days/times is helpful) and how many will be in your party.
    • We anticipate having multiple times each week during the sale period to accommodate visitors, and our Sales Team will respond with an appointment date/time within your specified time frame to the best of our ability.
    • Upon your acceptance, your appointment will be confirmed and directions provided. One of our all-volunteer Sales Team will be on-hand to assist you and to process your order at the conclusion of your visit. We’ll accept cash (although no coinage), personal checks, debit and credit cards.


Kathy Harrington

[email protected]



Your first step is to familiarize yourself with the available plants by downloading our SCNPS-Upstate 2020 Fall Native Plant List below.

SCNPS 2020 – Fall Price List

If you need help cross-referencing a plant ‘common’ name over to a ‘scientific name’, you can use this handy cross-reference list.

SCNPS Fall 2020 – Cross-Reference List

Please note that the available quantities are not listed and will be subject to change as the sale period progresses, so we recommend acting early.



Sunday, September 13th – Friday, September 25th the SCNPS-Upstate Native Nursery will be closed in preparation for the sale.

• Monday, September 21st begin processing electronic orders from the Website

• Saturday, September 26th begin curb-side pick-ups and shopping appointments

• Friday, October 31st cease accepting order via the Website

• Saturday, November 7th terminate the Fall Sale curb-side pick-up program



As always, we are offering early plant sale access to our active members. If you are currently a paid-up member of the South Carolina Native Plant Society (any chapter) your order submitted via the website link will begin processing on Monday, September 21st.

Please indicate your membership status on your order.

All other other orders will begin processing on Wednesday, September 23rd in the order they are received.




You can RENEW your membership at: https://scnps.org/scnps-membership/renew-membership

You can JOIN online at: https://scnps.org/scnps-membership/join



During visits to the Upstate Native Nursery, our all-volunteer Sales Team will be wearing masks and observing social distancing, and we’ll ask that you do as well. Carts will be made available for moving your plants and you’ll handle the loading yourself to minimize contact.

Upstate Zoom Meeting: Native Ferns

Tuesday 7-21 General Meeting via Zoom

Join us for the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS program/meeting on July 21, 2020 at 7:00pm. Log in at 6:30 for some socializing. A Zoom invitation will be sent out via Tiny Letter a few days prior to the event. We plan to record this program for later viewing as well. Our presenter will be Rosemarie Knoll of HighFallsPublishing.com. See below for details.


Bio for Rosemarie Knoll

Rosemarie Knoll is the author of 2 local wildflower books. The first book covers wildflowers in DuPont State Forest. The second book covers wildflowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest.

Last year, Rosemarie decided to take on a new challenge – learning about our native ferns. As she was going through the learning process, she felt that it may be helpful to others to put together a workshop covering fern basics and the identification of our most common native ferns.

Rosemarie will share some of the fun and interesting facts about our native ferns and fern allies and will discuss the basics of fern identification.

Join us for the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS program/meeting on July 21, 2020 at 7:00pm. Log in at 6:30 for some socializing. A Zoom invitation will be sent out via Tiny Letter a few days prior to the event. We plan to record this program for later viewing as well. Our presenter will be Rosemarie Knoll of HighFallsPublishing.com. See below for details.

Bio for Rosemarie Knoll

Rosemarie Knoll is the author of 2 local wildflower books. The first book covers wildflowers in DuPont State Forest. The second book covers wildflowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest.

Last year, Rosemarie decided to take on a new challenge – learning about our native ferns. As she was going through the learning process, she felt that it may be helpful to others to put together a workshop covering fern basics and the identification of our most common native ferns.

Rosemarie will share some of the fun and interesting facts about our native ferns and fern allies and will discuss the basics of fern identification.

Upstate Plant Purchasing Update

The upstate greenhouse steering committee has worked out a temporary, limited way for members and friends to purchase plants from the greenhouse.  It must be done by appointment.

Link to plant list and prices:

Here is the newsletter article explaining the new process:

The all-volunteer Greenhouse Steering Committee has been working alongside the volunteers in the Greenhouse Gang and the Maintenance & Operations Team to prepare the nursery for sustained operations during the peak pandemic months during which we will be hosting an unusually high number of plants. Normally we would have sold 75% of our usual 4,000 plant inventory during the Spring Sale; however, this year due to the cancellation, we have a full house.We’ve installed several new beds and irrigation to help keep our plants healthy until the Fall sale which were hoping to have in late September or early October. In order to assure the health and safety of everyone  the Greenhouse is closed to all but a small maintenance crew for the near future.

During this time access to the property will be restricted to only those volunteers on the Maintenance & Operations Team and the Greenhouse Steering Committee.  We feel it is important to try and continue to provide plants to our membership and friends during these difficult times. Some of the Steering Committee members have volunteered to try and help facilitate sales on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to purchase a plant during the Spring planting season, you can reach-out to one of those listed below to make a request. We ask your patience and flexibility in working with these volunteers.  Their priority will be ensuring a safe transaction for all concerned. The link to the price list is above and also on the web-site calendar for April 18.  (www.scnps.org) The contacts below will also have a copy of the price list and can e-mail it to you in PDF.

SCNPS Greenhouse Steering Committee 2020 Member Name Telephone # E-Mail
Amy Henderson  914-649-6779   [email protected]
Susan Lochridge 864-380-3673   [email protected]
Doug Lockard     864-908-4461   [email protected]   (not gmail)
Kitty Putnam       864-313-8434   [email protected]
Miller Putnam     864-325-9700   [email protected]
Kay Stafford       703-350-8774    [email protected]

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]