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List of Flowering Plants That Thrive in South Carolina

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Gardening Southern-style is a little different than in other parts of the United States. There’s an interesting ritual among Southern gardeners that a newcomer should be aware of. If a South Carolinian should give you a cutting from a plant that you've admired, don’t say “thank you.” It is believed that to do so is bad luck and the plant won’t thrive. Many flowering plants are native to South Carolina and many others will do quite well there.

Carolina Lily

South Carolina’s official state wildflower, the Carolina lily grows throughout the southeast United States. It blooms as early as May in some areas but generally waits until mid to late summer in South Carolina. In shades of red and yellow, the petals can be dappled, like orchids, but are shaped like fuchsia. Carolina lilies are heat-tolerant and do best in mildly acidic to neutral, sandy soils.

Cardinal Flower

A type of lobelia, the cardinal flower is a favorite of South Carolina hummingbirds. This is a perennial plant with bright red flowers. According to the South Carolina Native Plant Society, over-picking of this flower has made it difficult to find in some areas. Blooming from May to October, the cardinal flower can be grown in the sun or the shade and needs moist soil.

Coral Honeysuckle

A South Carolina native climbing vine, coral honeysuckle blooms in trumpet-shaped red flowers with yellow centers. The coral honeysuckle will grow in sun or partial shade and needs well-drained soil. Because of its popularity as a landscape specimen, this is an easy plant to find in most garden supply centers.


About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.