On May 24, Andy Cabe and a team of SCDOT workers went to work to save some Schweinitz’s sunflowers (Helianthus schweinitzii) that were in danger of being destroyed by bridge construction. The SCDOT is in the process of replacing the S-654 bridge over Burgis Creek in York County. The endangered Schweinitz’s sunflower grows in the area, and would likely be impacted by the construction work.
Andy’s team collected nearly 150 plants, most of them bareroot but some with intact native soil. These plants will be safeguarded at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden until bridge construction is complete. Most of them will then be replanted in their former habitat in spring of 2019. A portion of the collected plants may be planted on Catawba Indian property nearby.