South Carolina Picture Project

Medusa Tree – Greenville, South Carolina


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Also known as the “Root Tree,” this magnificent old tree with exposed roots crowns the Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Greenville, a walkway that leads you through Falls Park. Visitors to the park can also enjoy its landscaped gardens, scenic views atop the Liberty Bridge, and of course, the picturesque Reedy River Falls.

Tree on Greenville's Swamp Rabbit Trail

Copyrighted © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The tree sits on the edge of the park but is actually on the property of the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a state-supported residential high school concentrating on the arts. The tree, an American beech (Fagus grandifolia), is estimated to be around 70 years old. It was likely planted in the former Furman University arboretum, which was established here in 1929 and flourished under the guidance of the Greenville Garden Club, which began planting trees in the arboretum in 1932. The site of the former arboretum is now known as Little Falls Park.

Medusa Tree

Jonathan Kostyra of Greenville, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Horticulturalists suspect that the tree’s roots became exposed during the construction of Furman College Way, the former road – now a foot trail – that winds by the impressive tree. The beech has become a favorite Greenville landmark for people to photograph. However, its popularity has resulted in minor vandalism, such as people carving their names in the tree’s majestic roots. Still, as long as the bank on which the tree grows remains healthy and does not erode, the tree should continue to thrive in its beautiful downtown oasis.

Reedy River Medusa Tree

Jackie DeBusk of Saint Marys, GA © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Check out Mosley Hardy‘s neat interactive gigapan of the Medusa Tree, and then view more pictures of other renowned South Carolina Trees.



Medusa Tree Info


Address: Furman College Way, Greenville, SC 29601
GPS Coordinates: 34.843874,-82.401655

Medusa Tree Map



Medusa Tree – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Medusa Tree, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


Please Comment Below


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!



One Comment about Medusa Tree

Eric HumphriesNo Gravatar says:
July 1st, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Crazy looking





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