Rocky Shoal Spider Lillies of the Catawba River

This week traditionally sees the peak blooming of these rare plants in the Catawba River in South Carolina…

Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog

Each year, around the end of May, the Catawba River in Chester County, South Carolina, is  covered  by delicate white flowers of the rare and endangered Rocky Shoals Spider Lilly.  Because of hydroelectric daming along most of the river’s course, the habitat for these treasures has been depleted, but these few miles along the York and Chester County stretch are much as they have been for thousands of years.  This year the bloom came early, and these photos capture the last of the display.

At this point, the river is over a half mile wide.

The bulbs attach themselves in the shallow mud around the river rocks.

The water flows very swiftly around these rocks, providing valuable nutrients for these unusual plants.

The photo below was made two years ago when the bloom was at its peak.

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