This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower report for September 9th. In the Rocky Knob area, south of Roanoke in Virginia, Goldenrod is the latest bloom to show up here in early fall, and the bright red Cardinal Flower is in bloom with some showing along the edges of the pond behind Mabry Mill. Notice the variety of colors beside the blacksmith shop there at Mabry Mill. Touch-Me-Not, Goldenrod, Sneezeweed are all blooming between flumes at the mill.
From previous weeks, include the Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Queen Anne’s Lace that are still blooming, along with Black-eyed Susan and Ox-eye Daisy, Daisy Fleabane, Touch-Me-Not, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Turk’s Cap Lily, and the tall purple-headed Joe-pye Weed. Doughton Park in North Carolina has many of the same species, including Sunflower, Joe-pye Weed, Ironweed, and a variety of Goldenrod species.
Look for some remaining Blazing Star and Coreopsis as well. Queen Anne’s Lace and Jewel Weed (or touch-me-not) is also bright and showing right now. From Mt. Mitchell to Grandfather Mountain, look for Goldenrod, Cardinal Flower, Jewel Weed, Bouncing Bet, Asters, and rag weed. At Sims pond at milepost 295, you may catch some very early fall color this weekend in show.
Blueberries are ripening in the high elevations south of Asheville. There will be showings of Mountain Ash in the Pisgah campground before long, as well as scattered examples along the road all the way 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.