Aug 1, 2018
Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel.
© Xavier Caré [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel, is a southwestern species that has become naturalized to South Carolina.

Dinesh Valke [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots a  plant in Barbados that is similar to Rattle Bush. The latter was introduced initially in Florida.

Chinese Privet
Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Privet, or Ligustrum japonicum, is a naturalized plant, and can be hard to control. Its flower has a strong, sweet odor.

Gibraltar Import

Apr 27, 2018
Giant Fennel
James Gaither [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A listener brings a plant home to the Lowcountry from Gibraltar, and it's thriving!

The "Moss Animal"

Sep 27, 2017
A freshwater Bryozoan colony.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A freshwater bryozoan colony will only thrive in clean water.

Coral Beans

Sep 26, 2017
Mature Coral Bean seed pods.
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Coral bean is a native plant. Its red, tubular flowers grow on tall stalks in the spring, drawing hummingbirds and butterflies. In the fall, coral bean's seed pods begin to mature turning dark, almost black, and then splitting open to reveal shiny, scarlet red seeds nestled inside. All parts of this plant are poisonous, so be sure to keep them away from kids and pets.

Green Dragon

Aug 28, 2017
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
Tie Guy II [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Dragon has one leaf that divides into up to 17 leaflets.

Century Plants

Aug 22, 2017
Agave americana in bloom.
Alvesgaspar [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not all of the plants we call Century plants live for 100 years. However, they are long-lived. 

The Devil's Walking Stick in flower.
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society,

This plant is common on the fringe of woodlands, often on roadsides.

Sea Oxeye

Jun 15, 2017
Homer Edward Price [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

This native plant lives in the ecotone (transition) between salt water and high ground.

Easy Houseplants

Apr 28, 2017

Unfortunately, not all of us have a green thumb, so keeping plants alive can be stressful.  Nevertheless, here are a few houseplants that are surprisingly easy to maintain.

Atamasco Lily

Apr 24, 2017
Atamasco Lily (Rain Lily), Badin Upland Swamp, Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina.
Wasrts, via Wikimedia

Not really a lily, this plant is a member of the Amaryllis family.

An "Eye-Popping" Plant

Nov 9, 2016
Fruit of the Euonymus americanus.
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A visually striking plant when it fruits, the is sometimes called Hearts A Busting, or a Strawberry Bush.

A Devil's Walking Stick with fruit.
Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called the Devil's Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa, fruits in the fall in South Carolina. One look at the stem give you a clue as to how it got some of its common names.

Running Club-Moss, Lycopodium clavatum L. Location: Appalachians; Shenandoah Mt.
Jason Hollinger/Flickr

  A listener spots  "Ground Pine,"  or "Ground Cedar," which is actually a moss, commonly called a Club-Moss.


Aug 11, 2016
A Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly (male) on a Buttonbush.
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

The Buttonbush is a favorite of butterflies.

Pepper vine with fruit.
USchick, via Wikimedia Commons

The pepper vine is common in South Carolina. While the fruit seems to be useful for some wildlife, it's not something you'd want to try.

Seeds that Float on Air

Feb 23, 2016
Carolina Spiny Pod, or, matelea carolinensis
Mason Brock (Masebrock) via Wikimedia Commons

The Carolina Spiny Pod make seeds that are dispersed on the winds.

Lots of Winter Green

Jan 25, 2016
Ground Pine Club Moass
Bernd Haynold via Wikimedia Commons

Even in the Winter, there are lots of green plants to be found in the wilds of South Carolina. Among them is Ground Pine Club Moss.

Pollinator at en.wikipedia from Wikimedia Commons

The Sicklepod is an Asian plant, spotted in the Lowcountry by a listener.

Jason Riedy/Flickr

A common, non-native plant in South Carolina, Rattlebox has seed pods that rattle when you shake them.

Virgin's Bower
കാക്കര (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

  This time of year you'll see a lot of Virgin's Bower near South Carolina roadways.

The Devil's Walking Stick in flower.
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society,

  You may spot the Devil's Walking Stick in flower this time of year as you drive just about anywhere in the state.

  Mountain Laurel grows many places in South Carolina. But, it is native to--well--the mountains.

Bull Nettle Fruit

May 6, 2015
Mature Bull Nettle Fruit
Missouri State University

Bull Nettle, or Horse Nettle, fruit is poisonous. The plant is in the Nightshade family.


Indian Pipes

Dec 24, 2014

Indian Pipes flowers, common in South Carolina, are so named because then they are removed from the plant and held upside down they resemble long-stemmed tobacco pipes.

Dune Evening Primrose

Dec 22, 2014

The Dune Evening Primrose grows in the dunes on the South Carolina coast.

How long does a plant have to grow in South Carolina before you can call it "native"?

Bursting Seed Pods

Dec 18, 2014

On a quiet day you can actually hear Wisteria seed pods bursting, scattering seeds.