Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

List of Plants Native to South Carolina

South Carolina, the “palmetto state,” is home to at least 3,000 vascular plants. From the coastal areas to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the interior, a wide variety of plant life exists, from grasses to large pine trees to the state tree, the cabbage palmetto. However, many native plants in South Carolina have become endangered due to clearing and commercial development of wild areas.

Aquatic Plants

Many invasive aquatic plants threaten South Carolina’s coastal regions. They often cause the native species to die because of their rapid spread. Native aquatic plants include the hardy water lily, native water canna, pond cypress, bald cypress and water tupelo.

Coastal Plants

South Carolina’s coastal regions are home to many species of plants. However, the barrier islands have fewer native species because of the high winds, which cause salt to blow onto the land from the ocean, preventing the growth of many plants. Some of the native coastal plants include: sea oats, gaillardia, dotted horsemint, the herb St. John’s wort, the shrub yaupon, loblolly bay, swamp mallow and yellow jessamine, the state flower.

  • South Carolina, the “palmetto state,” is home to at least 3,000 vascular plants.
  • However, the barrier islands have fewer native species because of the high winds, which cause salt to blow onto the land from the ocean, preventing the growth of many plants.

Trees

South Carolina hosts many species of native trees, both deciduous and evergreen. Deciduous trees include: pond cypress, bald cypress, Florida maple, sweet birch, American hornbeam, flowering dogwood, common persimmon, several species of oak, several types of hickory, bigleaf magnolia, red mulberry, several ash varieties, and three elms, including the medicinal slippery elm. Evergreen trees include Southern red cedar, spruce, slash and longleaf pine, American holly, live oak, red bay, Southern magnolia and the cabbage or “sabal” palmetto, which is a medium-sized palm tree that serves as the state tree.

Landscape Plants

A good number of South Carolina’s native plants are appropriate for use in residential and commercial landscapes. Trees include the following: paw paw, Eastern redbud, fringetree, Pagoda dogwood, persimmon, Carolina silverbell, common with Hazel, American holly, red cedar, red maple, yellow buckeye, sweet birch, beech, tulip tree, sycamore, white oak, American linden, Carolina hemlock. Herbaceous perennials include: blue star, green dragon, wild indigo, black cohosh, bleeding heart, trout lily, Joe-Pye weed, wild geranium, alumroot, lobelia, cardinal flower, bee balm, phlox, black-eyed Susan, blue-eyed grass, and many more.

Related Articles

List of Jamaica's Native Plants
List of Jamaica's Native Plants
What Are Common Plants in South Carolina?
What Are Common Plants in South Carolina?
Louisiana Plant Identification
Louisiana Plant Identification
Landscaping Ideas for the Front Yard in North Florida
Landscaping Ideas for the Front Yard in North Florida
The Best Trees for East Texas
The Best Trees for East Texas
Native Indonesian Plants
Native Indonesian Plants
What Do Grass Carp Eat?
What Do Grass Carp Eat?
The Best Plants for the Ocala, Florida, Climate
The Best Plants for the Ocala, Florida, Climate
Native Plants of Massachusetts
Native Plants of Massachusetts
North Carolina Deer Resistant Plants
North Carolina Deer Resistant Plants
Characteristics of Temperate Grasslands
Characteristics of Temperate Grasslands
How to Care for a Saucer Magnolia Tree
How to Care for a Saucer Magnolia Tree
Plants for Brackish Water
Plants for Brackish Water
What Type of Pine Trees Grow in Georgia?
What Type of Pine Trees Grow in Georgia?
Animals That Eat Rice Fields
Animals That Eat Rice Fields
Native Plants in the Rio Grande Valley
Native Plants in the Rio Grande Valley
Edible Plants & Flowers of the Mountains of East Tennessee
Edible Plants & Flowers of the Mountains of East Tennessee
Garden Guides
×