Help Clemson Univ. find highly invasive fig buttercup plant

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CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Officials are asking for the public’s help to find an invasive plant species in the Upstate.

Fig buttercup has heart-shaped, dark green leaves and bright shiny yellow flowers.

The plant smothers other native plants and has been showing up along tributaries of the Reedy River in Greenville and the Catawba River in Rock Hill, according to the Department of Plant Industry at Clemson University.

The DPI is tasked with protecting South Carolina from foreign plant predators.

“This is a bad plant. It has become a more aggressive pest in our state and is now regulated by law,” said Sherry Aultman with the DPI.

“That’s why we’re reaching out and trying to teach people in affected areas to recognize it and report it. We want to stop it in its tracks and with assistance from the South Carolina Native Plant Society do what we can to eliminate it.”

Anyone who sees what they suspect is fig buttercup is asked to report it online by emailing invasives@clemson.edu or by calling DPI at 864-646-2140.

The fig buttercup blooms in March and the bloom lasts only about six weeks.

To tell it apart from native buttercups that belong in the state, there are two recognizable differences:

  • The underside of the leaf looks like lizard skin
  • The fig buttercup’s flower doesn’t show the traditional ‘cup’ that gives it the name 

Read more on the fig buttercup.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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