New flower found in South Carolina
A new flower species has been found in a South Carolina county bordering the Western North Carolina mountains, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The only known population of Shealy’s saxifrage — Micranthes petiolaris var. shealyi — is located at Nine Times Preserve in Pickens County.
Clemson University botanists Larry Cushman, Patrick McMillan, and Vincent Richards named the species for Dr. Harry E. Shealy, Jr., distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina, Aiken, for the significant contributions he and his wife have had on the field of botany. Shealy is a longtime collaborator with SCDNR and a former Heritage Trust Advisory Board member.
The Shealy’s saxifrage flowers from February to May where it grows along the canopy edges of mildly sloping granite outcroppings, on moss mats or within spring-fed crevices.