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"C" is for Charleston Tea Plantation

"C" is for Charleston Tea Plantation. The Charleston Tea Plantation produces the only tea grown in the United States on Wadmelaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston. It is planted with more than 125 acres of tea, Camellia sinensis. Tea and camellias have celebrated histories in South Carolina. Ornamental camellias first arrived in America at Middleton Plantation in 1799 with French botanist Andre Michaux. Their popularity spread throughout the country, but South Carolina is the only state to have produced tea commercially. In the 19th century commercial tea was grown briefly in Greenville and  Georgetown.  In 1888, The Pinehurst Tea Plantation was renowned for its oolong tea. Thomas J. Lipton, scion of the tea magnate began the present operation in 1963. Bigelow purchased the plantation in 2003. Charleston Tea Plantation produces black tea, which is totally oxidized before being dried. 

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.