South Carolina falls within a humid, subtropical climate zone, which means this state offers hot, muggy summers and cooler, wet winters. If you live in South Carolina, select plants according to flower color, bloom time, intended use and general culture. Various types of plants perform well in South Carolina landscapes.
The Carolina anemone (Anemone caroliniana), sometimes called the Carolina thimbleweed or the southern thimbleweed, belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Ranging from 6 to 12 inches in height, this herbaceous perennial features deep green, grass-like leaves. Flowers bloom from March through May, displaying white or blue petals that surround numerous yellow, central stamens. This anemone variety likes sandy or gravelly soils that receive plenty of sun. Carolina gardeners often plant the Carolina anemone in prairie gardens and perennial flowerbeds.
The Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus), also known as the eastern sweetshrub, belongs to the Calycanthaceae plant family and naturally occurs across South Carolina. Mature shrubs range from 6 to 12 feet in height and bear aromatic, deep green leaves that turn non-showy yellow shades in the autumn. Deep red flowers appear from April through July. This vigorous shrub likes moist, loamy soils in part shade positions. The Carolina allspice shrub performs well planted along moist woodlands and stream banks.
Carolina spider-lilies (Hymenocallis caroliniana), also called rain lilies, perform well in South Carolina bottomlands. This Liliaceae family member ranges from 18 to 30 inches in height. Large flower clusters bloom from March through September, featuring fragrant, white blossoms. Glossy, light green leaves reach up to 2 feet in length. This lily species prefers wet, sandy soils in partly shady positions. Gardeners often use the Carolina spider-lily in water gardens, swamp margins and bog gardens.
The Carolina buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana), sometimes called the Carolina false buckthorn or the Indian cherry tree, typically ranges from 12 to 15 feet in height. This Rhamnaceae family member bears glossy, green leaves that retain their color well into autumn. Clusters of non-showy, yellow flowers appear in May and June, followed by small, red to black fruits that attract birds. This buckthorn species prefers moist, rocky soils in partly shady locations. The Carolina buckthorn works well as an understory tree in South Carolina woodlands or bottomlands.
Carolina Wild Petunia
The Carolina wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis), an Acanthus plant family member (Acanthaceae), thrives in dry, sandy soils in partially shady locations. This herbaceous perennial reaches up to 3 feet in height and features oval, bright green leaves. The tubular, pale purple to violet flowers provide vibrant landscape color throughout the summer. Carolina gardeners often plant the Carolina wild petunia in woodland gardens and wildflower meadows.
Carolina wolfberry shrubs (Lycium carolinianum) go by many names, including the Christmas berry, the creeping wolfberry and the Carolina desert-thorn shrub. This potato family member (Solanaceae) reaches up to 6 feet in height and bears succulent, green leaves. Pale purple to blue blossoms appear from April through October, giving way to edible, red berries. The Carolina wolfberry naturally occurs in the moist, sandy soils along South Carolina's coastal plain. Gardeners often use this wolfberry variety in swamp margins or marshlands.