This is the Blue Ridge Parkway wildflower report for mid August. Most lovers of wildflowers prefer spring, but it’s hard to beat a late summer meadow full of summer blossoms. Around every turn there are things in display and an added fun are the cool temperatures at the higher elevations.
New blooms in the Rocky Knob area of Virginia include Virgin’s Bower, Iron Weed, Hairy Golden Aster, and Smart Weed. Many carry-overs from the past few weeks are still worth the view. These of course include Coreopsis, Queen Anne’s Lace, Black-eyed Susan, Ox-eye Daisy, and Daisy Fleabane. The tall orange and ornate Turks-cap Lily is especially nice right now and the purple-headed Joe-pye Weed is the favorite for a lot of folks.
Rakes Mill Pond, around milepost 162, has a large number of Spotted Touch-Me-Not or Jewel Weed, as well as Ironweed, Joe-pye and Arrow Head. At Doughton Park in North Carolina, you’ll find Coreopsis, Tall Coneflower, Queen Anne’s Lace, Goldenrod, Carolina Lily, and again lots of Joe-pye Weed. In North Carolina, around Boone and Blowing Rock, down through the Linville Falls area, look for Spider Wort, St. John’s Wort, Joe-pye Weed, Tall Bellflower, and the Carolina Lily.
South of Ashville in the high country, many of the same species are reported, along with some False Foxglove, Phlox, Black Cohosh, Bee Balm, Pink Turtlehead, in the wet areas and some Witch Hobble.
Blueberries are ripening and there will be small showing of Mountain Ash in the Pisgah campground before long and scattering chances of that along the road all the way south to Cherokee.
Don’t be in too big of a hurry to squeeze in one last trip for summer. The parkway is meant to be a slow, relaxing drive. Watch out for the built in distractions such as bicyclists, wildlife, and fantastic views. Have a safe visit to America’s favorite drive.
Weekly updates at 828-298-0398 will keep you informed of what’s being reported throughout the Parkway.
Have a safe parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.