The SCPCA focuses its conservation efforts on specific plant species and communities. Priority species are chosen based on practical criteria such as degree of endangerment, potential for recovery, and whether or not another group has already taken a species on. It is not necessary for a species to be listed as endangered or vulnerable for the SCPCA to take it on.
Current SCPCA projects include the safeguarding and reintroduction of Schwalbea americana (American chaffseed), the safeguarding of Oxypolis canbyii (Canby’s dropwort), and the possible reintroduction of Plantanthera integrilabia to Caesar’s Head State Park. The Schwalbea and Platanthera reintroductions both involve seeds collected over a generation ago. The South Carolina Botanical Garden is growing seedlings of both Oxypolis and Schwalbea, and is working on reintroduction plans with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
There are a number of other projects that the SCPCA would like to help coordinate. Several populations of Sagittaria fasciculata grow in the Upstate, where they are monitored by organizations including Furman University and Upstate Forever. Other potential species include Amaranthus pumilus (seabeach amaranth), Helonias bullata (swamp pink), Lilium pyrophilum (Sandhills lily), and Sarracenia jonesii (mountain sweet pitcher plant), as well as many others.
Each priority species is assigned a project leader to oversee surveying and conservation efforts.