BYH to the one who thinks that we are energy independent because of this president. The initiatives you speak of began...

This plant comes into its own at the end of summer


This plant is very closely related to various southeastern species which are indeed native to our area, and go by the name of “Atamasco,” or “zephyr lily.”


Saturday, November 10, 2018

The year is old, the birds are flown.

And yet the world, in its distress,

Displays a certain loveliness —

 — John Updike, from “A Child’s Calendar”

Autumn has once again snuck up upon us, as it always does.

Autumn is known mostly as a time of cooling temperatures, and falling, colorful leaves. (And hurricanes, I fear.) Shorter day lengths (since June 21) have had plenty of biological ramifications on the plants (and animals) around us. In the Southeast, one can hardly go through the fall without marveling at the display of asters and goldenrods, besides the change of leaf color. (The change of color in fall leaves is often thought to be a result of cool temperatures, or even frost. However, the marvelous fall color of deciduous trees in the upcountry of the Smoky Mountains, and elsewhere in the Appalachians, begins well before frost has occurred.)

Here is a plant that has come into its own, since the tail-end of summer. It is often seen along the Atlantic coast, where it has naturalized. My photograph is from Florence County, South Carolina, where I saw it very recently. It is not a native plant here in the South. It is actually from South America, mostly Argentina and Uruguay, but it has been grown as a garden plant for at least a couple hundred years, both in the United States and in Europe. In our area, from North Carolina down through Texas, it has naturalized from original garden plantings, and now behaves as something of a native species. (“Naturalized” species are often quite a problem now, being introduced from one place, and then acting as a regular part of the landscape. Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu, and beach vitex are good examples, unfortunately.)

Our Mystery Plant remains a popular garden plant, and it is easy to grow. It is especially good as a rock garden addition. Where it has naturalized, in the Southeast, it doesn’t seem to pose an invasive problem, so much as a delightful and autumnal curiosity, often on roadsides, ditch edges, or at old home sites.

It grows from a bulb, as do many of its relatives (such as amaryllis and hurricane lily). Each plant will produce a shock of slick, bright green, narrow leaves, with the leafless flowering stems up to about 6” high. The sepals and petals (three each) make up the perianth, which is brilliant white (the scientific species name alludes to this…and brings to mind “clear,” “brilliant,” and “innocent.”)

It is very closely related to various southeastern species which are indeed native to our area, and go by the name of “Atamasco,” or “zephyr lily.” These native species bloom in the spring, though.

(Answer: “Autumn fairy lily”, Zephyranthes candida)

John Nelson is the curator of the A. C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, in the Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia SC 29208. As a public service, the Herbarium offers free plant identifications. For more information, visit www.herbarium.org or call 803-777-8196, or email nelson@sc.edu.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


December 15, 2018 - 53 minutes ago

Singular: “Wasp.” Plural: “Wasps.” Right?

But that plural form of the noun is hard to say, and it sounds kind of silly to me: “Waspeses.” I’m reminded that there are other ways in which these words are pronounced. For instance, I’ve heard it…


December 14, 2018

The 23rd-century world of "Mortal Engines" looks great: a fabulous and richly textured steampunk dystopia of haves and have-nots straight out of H.G. Wells. Populated, on the one side, by people in frock coats festooned with gold braid, and, on the other, begrimed laborers in goggles and grease-…


December 12, 2018

Q Is the push to take probiotics just another fad or is there a good reason to take them? AD, Winterville.

A You may have heard me suggest eating yogurt with active cultures if you are taking an antibiotic to help avoid diarrhea -- I’ve been saying that for years. But there is lots more…

Kolasa, Kathy

December 09, 2018

Texas Roadhouse located at 720 Greenville Boulevard next to Cracker Barrel in the Shoppes at Greenville Grande has Texas sized food and spirit. The restaurant is as big as Texas too with plenty of space with a down home country feel. Come in and be met with upbeat sounds of top country music and a…

Steak Display Case.jpg

December 09, 2018

A Stokes resident and retired public school teacher recently published a novel based on a larger-than-life friend engaged marijuana smuggling in the 1960’s abd 1970s.

Life and Times in the Sierra Madres: An American Smuggling Story is written by Michael Biondi. It was published in November…

Michael Biondi

December 09, 2018


In the Spring of 1986 I was invited by the deputy chief of staff for Vice President George H. W. Bush to a meeting with the vice president in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House. At the time, I was a young executive in the U.S. Department of Commerce working…

David Edgell

December 09, 2018

“There should be an historic plaque in Chapel Hill honoring George Bush.”

On the day after the former president’s death, Chapel Hill lawyer and chair of the town’s historic district commission, Bob Epting, was making opening remarks at a public seminar on preserving historic…


December 08, 2018

It’s an odd-ball sort of bush.

It’s a native species — nothing odd about that — and it was originally restricted entirely to the coast, from North Carolina all the way to Mississippi.

Now, though, it is common well inland within all of these states, and beyond, and appears…


December 07, 2018

In the annals of potentially disastrous spinoffs, "Creed" surely stands as an all-time champion. Directed with finesse and sensitivity by Ryan Coogler — who famously went on to make the blockbuster "Black Panther" — the 2015 drama had it all: a classically contoured boxing story, a…


December 07, 2018

Over nearly three decades of “The Nutcracker,” it is hard to imagine that anyone saw the Dance Arts Theatre production more than Jeane Welch.

She watched the first performance in 1985 when her daughter, Marty, was a dancer. She was in the audience when her granddaughter, Holton, twirled…

188 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 19
        Next Page»   Last Page»