This is the Blue Ridge Parkway wildflower report for August 17, 2007. Triple digit temperatures have gripped much of the Virginia and North Carolina piedmont over the past two weeks. So, the Parkway has been an especially popular place to find temperatures sometimes as much as twenty degrees cooler. It has also been very dry, so be especially careful on your trip to the mountains. In the high plateau south of Roanoke, look for typical summer blooms such as Queen Anne’s Lace, Coreopsis in full bloom, Common Mullien, Deptford Pink, Clovers, Sunflower and full blooms of Ironweed, Joe-Pye Weed and Goldenrod. In North Carolina around Grandfather Mountain, the Mountain Ashe, Beard-Tongue, and Butterfly Weed are especially nice. Goldenrods have begun to erupt in the fields of Crabtree Meadows and while checking out the late summer blooms keep an eye out for Hoary Mountain Mint and False Dragon Head. On the Parkway’s far south end where the elevation climbs the most, summer flowers are still prominent but beginning to fade in favor of the fall flowers. Turkscap Lily, Bebalm, Tall Bellflower, Black Cohosh and Clingman’s Hedge Nettle. Vast amounts of Coneflower and Coreopsis decorate the Pisgah and Richland Balsam area. Have a safe visit this weekend by remembering that with a drive along this mountain road comes steep inclines, steep curves, built-in distractions such as wildlife and bicyclists. Pull off into the overlooks if traffic backs up behind you, everyone will be a lot happier. As we often tell visitors, enjoy the view, but watch the road. Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what’s being reported throughout the Parkway.
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