Hershberger Lab

New germplasm

South Carolina Heirloom Butter Beans

The Hershberger lab was featured in an article published today in the Post and Courier: SC gardener’s trove of seeds could play a part in combating climate change, disease. Over the course of the past sixty years, Mr. Carold Wicker of Prosperity, South Carolina, has collected and maintained these and other vegetable seeds from the Dutch Fork region of the state. Last month, Historian and University of South Carolina distinguished professor Dr. David Shields and Nat Bradford of Bradford Family Farm in Sumter, SC visited Mr. Wicker at his home to sample the seeds and stories Mr. Wicker has been saving. They collected a small number of seeds from each variety to add to the Bradshaw Heirloom Collection at Clemson’s main campus, where they will be maintained and distributed by the South Carolina Crop Improvement Association.

We are honored to have been entrusted with six butter bean varieties from the the Carold Wicker Heirloom Edible Plants Collection and eight more from the Bradshaw Collection. Last week, we planted these and over 300 other diverse butter bean accessions in the greenhouse to produce seed for future field trials and breeding efforts. Stay tuned as we explore these and other Southeastern butter bean heirlooms!

Photo courtesy of Dr. David Shields
Photo courtesy of Dr. David Shields
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