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Blue Ridge Kitties
Turkeybeard blossoms

Xerophyllum asphodeloides is a North American species of flowering plants in the Melanthiaceae known by the common names turkey beard, eastern turkeybeard, beartongue, grass-leaved helonias, and mountain asphodel. It is native to the eastern United States, where it occurs in the southern Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Alabama, and also in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.