South Carolina

Flora and fauna

Principal trees of South Carolina include palmetto (the state tree), balsam fir, beech, yellow birch, pitch pine, cypress, and several types of maple, ash, hickory, and oak; longleaf pine grows mainly south of the fall line. Rocky areas of the piedmont contain a wide mixture of moss and lichens. The coastal plain has a diversity of land formations—swamp, prairie, savannah, marsh, dunes—and, accordingly, a great number of different grasses, shrubs, and vines. Azaleas and camellias, not native to the state, have been planted profusely in private and pubic gardens. Twenty plant species were listed as threatened or endangered in 2003, including smooth coneflower, Schweinitz's sunflower, black spored quillwort, pondberry, and persistent trillium.

South Carolina mammals include white-tailed deer (the state animal), black bear, opossum, gray and red foxes, cottontail and marsh rabbits, mink, and woodchuck. Three varieties of raccoon are indigenous, one of them unique to Hilton Head Island. The state is also home to Bachman's shrew, originally identified in South Carolina by John Bachman, one of John J. Audubon's collaborators. Common birds include the mockingbird and Carolina wren (the state bird). Twenty-two animal species were listed as threatened or endangered in South Carolina in 2003, including the Indiana bat, Carolina heelsplitter, bald eagle, five species of sea turtle, wood stork, and shortnose sturgeon.