Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Landsford Canal State Park, South Carolina: Wildflowers

We’ve been scouting locations to view and, hopefully, photograph Hymenocallis coronaria (Shoal Lily) a lily considered by the USDA Plants Database to be a subspecies of Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina Spiderlily). Plants are perennials that grow to 3-ft in height in direct sunlight in fast-flowing, shallow water currents in shoals in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Stands of this plant are located on the Catawba River, in the at Landsford Canal State Park, in Chester County, South Carolina; in Anthony Shoals on the Broad River by the Broad River Wildlife Management Area in Wilkes County and the Hightower Shoals on the Flint River in Talbot and Upson Counties, Georgia; and in the Hargrove Shoals in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge near West Blocton in Bibb County, Alabama.

In Alabama, the lily is known as the Cahaba Lily. In Georgia, it is usually called the Shoals Spider-lily. It is also varlously known as the Shoals Lily, Carolina Spiderlily, Rocky-shoals Spiderlily, or Catawba Spiderlily,

So we decided to check out the stand on the Catawba River in Landsford Canal State Park in South Carolina. We arrived at the park mid afternoon and decided to hike from the main entrance to the Spider Lily Overlook – along the Nature Trail on the way out and along the Canal Trail on the return trip. Although the spiderlilies weren’t blooming, we were rewarded with a number of blooming wildflowers.

Looking across the Catawba River past the Diversion Dam. The water is swift flowing here.

An Elephantsfoot bloom – I believe this is Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) - bloom at the waters edge just before the Nature Trail split from the Canal Trail.

Looking out across the river below the Diversion Dam where the water was calm.

Looking down the small culvert, #5 on the map, to the Catawba River behind the island.

The river at the south end of the island – looking out towards the open river.

A large bolete mushroom, approximately 6 – 7 inches in diameter.

Most of the trail was wooded and surfaced with gravel to support the heavy foot traffic. It looks deceptively cool but the temperatures were in the 90s F.

A close of a Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) bloom. The culvert, #6 on the map, was filled with lush Jewelweed plants.

Approaching the Shoals Spider-lily overlook.

A section of the vista of the Shoals Spider-lily beds. The stand covers many acres in these shoals. The sight must be spectacular when the lilies are blooming.

A closer view of a Shoals Spider-lily plant.

A Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana) vine was growing at the waters edge.

Close up of a Virgin’s Bower bloom.

Close up of Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) blooms. A few small plants were growing in the shade under the viewing platform.

A Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) plant was blooming at the waters edge.

Close up of a Cardinal Flower bloom

We ended our walk down the river at this point and headed back to the trail head via the Canal Trail.

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