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Wednesday, 07 November 2012 00:00

Lily effort takes root around WCU

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out lilyAn effort to re-establish a favorite local flower while also growing a scholarship fund at Western Carolina University is off to a blooming start.


Sales of Cullowhee lily bulbs and note cards, along with memberships into the Cullowhee Lily Society, have generated more than $6,000 so far for the WCU Alumni Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide annual, need-based support to a current WCU student with close ties to alumni.

“WCU alumni and the local community have rallied around this special initiative. Their response has been outstanding,” said Marty Ramsey, alumni affairs director.

The effort to re-establish the Cullowhee lily on campus, and in the region, began to take shape last spring. This fall, bulbs and note cards were available for purchase at events on campus and at local establishments, helping to fund the scholarship as well as maintenance of lily flowerbeds on campus.

The Cullowhee lily was once common at Western Carolina but now grows in only a few spots on campus. Some speculate the water-loving plant began to disappear from the Cullowhee region when the valley wetlands were drained for farm use and later for construction. The proliferation of aggressive kudzu along the riverbanks also may have been another factor in the disappearance of the lily.

The bulbs and note cards are also sold through local retailers for $10 each. They can be found at Bryson Farm Supply and Country Road Farms Nursery & Garden Center in Sylva, Ray’s Florist & Greenhouse in Dillsboro and Tuckasegee Trading Co. in Cullowhee. Planting information for the bulbs is included in the package. But, supplies are limited.

828.227.7335 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00