Scientific Note: A Resurvey of Rhododendron eastmanii (Ericaceae) Populations in the Sumter National Forest, South Carolina


Charles N. Horn

Additional Authors:


February – 2022


associated species, competition, May-white azalea, population resurvey, Sumter National Forest

Rhododendron eastmanii is a species endemic to South Carolina and common in the Enoree Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest. A four-year study was undertaken to revisit known populations and to locate new populations. A total of 2,035 individuals in 38 populations were documented, including 663 seedlings, 705 non-flowering adults, and 667 flowering individuals. Plants were most commonly found on mature hardwood slopes above headwater streams. Pollinator visitors included eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor), and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). Concerns for the future of the species were noted due to deer browsing and subcanopy shading, especially from Acer leucoderme (a native tree) and Elaeagnus umbellata (an introduced shrub). This survey results in a better understanding of the species distribution and documents its demographic changes over time.