Summer Sweet Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’ (Clethra alnifolia)


Upstate Monthly Meeting:
Clemson University Grad Research Andy Grunwald
to Report on Spider Lily Research at Parks Mill

November 16th, 6:30 pm

Andy Grunwald, MS Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Graduate Administrative Assistant, Clemson University
Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation
The Parks Mill Rocky Shoals Spider Lilly Preservation site on Stevens Creek near Plum Branch in McCormick County has been a wonderful opportunity to observe and preserve a wonderful, rare plant.  The lilies are prospering at our Parks Mill site, but kayaking surveys have indicated a serious decline in size and number of sites downstream from the Parks Mill site. Grad student Andy Grunwald came to SCNPS with a grant request to research the problem, and SCNPS was glad to help fund his efforts.

For the last two seasons, Andy and his undergrad helpers have been propagating lily plants and testing different approaches to getting plants established in the Creek.  It has been a challenge in a system that regularly has high-water events.  In addition, Andy has reviewed a vast amount of research on rocky shoals spider lily and is very knowledgeable on the subject.

Andy will give us an update on the project’s activities and achievements.  Bring your questions on this fascinating plant!  For a primer on the lilies project, go to:



Plight of the American Bumblebee

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

A recent USA Today article by Asha C. Gilbert described what many of us already know: the American bumblebee population is quickly dwindling and will soon be facing extinction. According to the article, the American bumblebee population decreased by 89% over the last 20 years - mostly due to climate change, pesticides, and disease.

To read more about the status of the American bumblebee and the proposed action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, click the link below.
Native Shrubs: Continuing Our Landscape Heritage
Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica, Photo by Rick Huffman

Landscapes should reflect the heritage and culture of a region and say something about who we are and where we live in the world. Native landscapes provide what the ancient Greeks called “genius loci”; a sense of place.

Of course, North America’s natural landscape has changed quite a bit from the landscapes our ancestors knew. Early explorers Bartram, DeSoto, Douglas, Michaux, Nuttall and Townsend, documented and described America’s native flora and original landscape composition. The forests were rich mosaics of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Open areas such as prairies and savannas provided wonderful vistas of color and diversity. Then, as now, plants are essential to human survival, providing medicines, tools and food. Is our natural heritage represented in our landscapes today? Is our sense of place?

Including native plants and shrubs in landscape design marks a return to “common sense” gardening, and to landscapes that restore biodiversity and sense of place. Click below to read the full article.


UNN Helps Launch First Ever Midlands Chapter Plant Sale
Penstemon digitalis, Photo by Judy Seeley

SCNPS chapters support each other. Our Upstate Native Nursery recently transferred 270 native plants to the Midlands Chapter for their first plant sale held Oct. 29 and 30. Congratulations to the Midlands chapter!

We also just sent some Blue Lobelia plants to the native plant demonstration garden at the Pickens County Museum in downtown Pickens. Stop by this amazing garden next March and April for a spectacular show of blooms. Better yet, volunteer to help at the garden, which is a project of the Upstate Chapter.

The UNN also sent and helped install plants for a project at Paris Mountain State Park. Throughout the year, the UNN responds to requests for plant donations to worthy projects.

Donation requests may be made to our Upstate President, Virginia Meador, It's all about sharing, supporting each other, and saving the world one native plant at a time.
The Volunteer Corner

SCNPS is an all-volunteer organization. Each of the great things we accomplish is done by a volunteer(s), like you! Volunteers plan field trips and meetings, weed pots at the Upstate Native Nursery, help with projects and plant rescues, remove invasive plants, write articles, plan events and plant sales, and so on and on. You and your skills are needed.

There are opportunities right now for:

Writers Put your creative writing skills to work researching and writing articles for the Upstate monthly newsletter. Do you have an idea for a great article? Contact Judy Seeley,

Publicity Director Coordinate with the current media team and the Upstate board of directors to produce timely, informative articles about native plants, about our Upstate projects, and about creating a sustainable ecosystem. Work with writers for the newsletter. Find outlets to help the public appreciate the beauty and importance of native plants and publicize Upstate activities. Reach out and coordinate with other like-minded organizations. The possibilities are endless! Contact Judy Seeley to volunteer or ask questions. This is an important job for a creative and organized volunteer.

Advocacy Coordinator Rick Huffman and Frank Holleman do a great job keeping up with advocacy needs locally, in SC and nationally. We need a coordinator to mobilize advocacy volunteers when there is a need to take action. It might be attending a meeting to object to a zoning decision that would be detrimental to native plants, or a need to contact legislators to encourage passage of a proposed state law. The job requires an organized person who can communicate well with volunteers and give them the information and details they will need to be effective advocates. Contact Judy Seeley for details.
Suggestions for Meeting Speakers and for Field Trips

Betsy George recently emailed saying, “I’m forever running across someone and thinking that he/she would be an interesting speaker and then I forget.”

Have you heard a great speaker who would be of interest to SCNPS members or visited an area that would be an excellent field trip? Well, before you forget, send those ideas to Dan Whitten for Field trips ( and to Rick Huffman for Meeting Speakers (


A message from the garden:

Last week I was out looking at my Maypops, (Passiflora incarnata) when I noticed a Gulf Fritillary butterfly flying by very strangely. It looked as if it was carrying something. As I stood there trying to puzzle this out, the Fritillary came and landed on my wrist! It was two Gulf Fritillaries and they were mating. They then flew off to continue the cycle of making more Gulf Fritillaries.

Turning around, I quickly spotted a caterpillar chewing away on one of the Passionflowers which I grow every year not only for the flowers, but because they are a larval food for the Gulf Fritillary. A couple of more steps away, I spotted several chrysalises.

All the stages of their life cycle were right there before me. It was an enchanting few minutes in the garden. There are always surprises when you are observing nature, even in your own back yard. Sex in the garden; what fun!

-Judy Seeley

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The South Carolina Native Plant Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to preserve, protect & restore native plant communities in South Carolina. Your contributions are tax deductible.

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PO Box 1311, Chester, SC 29706

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