Rare Plants of South Carolina:
Hymenocallis occidentalis - Spider lily. Found growing in rapid flowing water of rocky river shoals. Most populations were exterminated when these areas were made more user-friendly by constructing canals around them in the first half of the 19th century. Only a few populations remain. This picture was taken at Landford's Canal State Park in Chester County. The plants flower from late June to mid August.
Hexastylis naniflora - Dwarf-flowered heartleaf. These evergreen plants are found along north facing slopes and flood plains of small streams and are frequently found growing with mountain laurel. The leaves have the smell of ginger when crushed. The small maroon flowers can be found from late January to May. This plant appears to be common in and around the city of Spartanburg. It is only known from three counties in South Carolina and six counties in North Carolina. It is nationally listed as threatened.
Sarracenia jonesii (Sarracenia rubra var. jonesii) - Mountain Sweet Pitcher-plant. This rare pitcher-plant is found on wet granite outcrops with southwestern exposure. It is a close relative of Sarracenia rubra, a smaller red pitchered plant of the coastal plants. The pitchers of Sarracenia jonesii are greater than 25 cm tall.
Helianthus porteri (Viguiera porteri) - Confederate Daisy. This federally endangered plant blooms in late August or early September. The only known population of this rare plant in South Carolina is at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport. Granite outcrops with mats of vegetation provide habitat for this exceedingly rare species.
Drosera rotundifolia - sundew. Sundews are plants of piedmont granitic outcrops and moist sand. These habitats are low in nitrogen. The sundews have developed an insect-eating strategy to gain the nutrients that fly by. The drops at the tip of the bristle-like hairs are sticky and contain digestive enzymes. When an insect is trapped the leaf folds around it and digestion begins. The outer skeleton is not digested and is blown away by the winds when the leaf unfolds.
Sagittaria fasciculata - bunched arrowhead. Sagittaria fasciculata is one of the rarest plants in the Piedmont. It occurs naturally only within five square miles of Travelers Rest, South Carolina and in a very disturbed sight near East Flat Rock, North Carolina. It grows nowhere else in the world. Bunched Arrowhead inhabits seepage areas in the headwaters of the Enoree and Tyger rivers. These wetlands help to maintain a constant flow of water in the drainage system. During droughts water drains from these organic sponges increasing the river's flow.
For distribution maps for all known native plants in South Carolina, please visit the Atlas of South Carolina Plants.