Biologist whips up native wildflower recipe

By Tom Lollis

WildflowersWhen T. J. Savereno set out to plant native wildflowers at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center, he had to build his own seed mix. The Clemson University wildlife biologist found many mixes that would flourish; but most contained non-native species, including Siberian wallflower and Chinese forget-me-not.

 “I prefer native species,” said Savereno. “They adapt well to local conditions and are more resistant to local diseases and pests. They also are less likely to escape from gardens and displace native species in the wild.”

Savereno chose 14 native plants: including prairie blazing star, lance-leaved coreopsis, butterfly milkweed, pale purple coneflower, Maximillian sunflower, black-eyed Susan, dense blazing star, Illinois bundleflower, biannual evening primrose, showy goldenrod, wild blue lupine, golden Alexanders, Indian blanket and partridge pea. He also included non-native crimson clover because it sprouts quickly, helps hold soil and increases soil fertility.

For information: T. J. Savereno, 843-662-3526, ext. 250,