Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Set in South Carolina, the Congaree Swamp is a national treasure. Housed in more than 22,000 acres, it is one of the best and last remaining examples of a mature forested floodplain. Numbers of plants, reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals live in this pristine environment. Congaree Swamp was designated as a National Monument in 1976 and became a part of the International Man and Biosphere Program, preserving genetic diversity. In 2003, the swamp received the honor of becoming a National Park, thus becoming the first and only National Park in South Carolina.

The National Park is located on the floodplain between the Upper and Middle Coastal Plain provinces in South Carolina. Approximately 10 times a year, the swamp floods providing essential nutrients for plant and wild life growth stimulation. Mountain rivers from North and South Carolina help feed the swamp and contribute to the flood process from melting snow in the spring.

Type
American Beech | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
American Beech | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Fagus grandifolia • Tall tree grows to 60 - 80 feet with 2 - 3 foot diameter • Distinctive, smooth gray bark • Long, slender many-scaled buds • Egg-shaped and coarse-toothed leaves 3 - 6 inches •...
Bald Cypress | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Bald Cypress | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Taxodium distichum • Only deciduous southern conifer • Height to 150 feet with diameter to 12 feet • Light and feathery foliage • Frilly leaves • A conifer that sheds leaves all at once • Horizontal...
Broad Headed Skink | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Broad Headed Skink | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Eumeces laticeps • Diurnal reptile • 14 - 21.6 cm (5.5 - 8.5 inches) • Black or brown skink, adults may be uniform brown • Five narrow light stripes including dorsal stripe along fourth or fifth...
Cinnamon Fern | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Cinnamon Fern | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Osmunda cinnamomea • Has rusty-woolly stalks • Grows in arching circular clusters • Pinnately compound leaves with brown fuzzy undersides • In the center of the fronds, a tall, brown, fertile frond...
Clubtail Dragonfly | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Clubtail Dragonfly | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Family Gomphidae • Medium size dragonfly • Has eyes that are wide set on the head • Dark brown or black with yellow or green stripes • Medium lobe of labium not notched • Female lacks ovipositor •...
Eastern Mud Turtle | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Eastern Mud Turtle | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Kinosternon subrubrum • Only needs a little standing water--likes ditch areas • A type of musk turtle--known by shape of shell • Tremendously long neck • No teeth, but a strong jaw • Scavenger • 7.6...
Elderberry | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Elderberry | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Sambucus canadensis • Broadleaf deciduous shrub or small tree • Height 3 - 20 feet • Light brown bark with numerous raised bumps • Looks like a hydrangea • Clusters of white flowers • Leaves are...
Hero Darner | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Hero Darner | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

• Family Aeshnidae • Usually 3-4 inches long • One of the largest found in the area • Abdomen looks like a darning needle • Compound eyes are reflective • Eyes are set close together so it has no...
Loblolly Pine | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
Loblolly Pine | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

Pinus taeda Large in height and diameter Average diameter is 4 feet Average circumference is 10 feet Dull, light green needles 6 - 9 inches long Three needles per cluster Cylindrical prickly cones...
May Fly | Congaree National Park (S.C.)
May Fly | Congaree National Park (S.C.)

Photo

Order Ephemeroptera • Small to medium-size insect with elongate, very soft body • Forewing large, triangular, many veined • Hind wing small and rounded • At rest wings held together above body •...