An abundance of rain in the region here in late spring has given us full creeks and nice waterfalls tumbling down into the Piedmont along with a prolific wildflower bloom. Flaming Pink Azalea, locally known as Pinkster, along with Catawba Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel are in bloom throughout most sections of the Parkway.
For those in the Roanoke area, the Mountain Laurel is nice on the loop road on Roanoke Mountain near the campground. Around Mabry Mill, you’ll find Flaming Pink Azalea with some Catawba Rhododendron beginning to bloom nicely. Look for Wild Geranium, Fire Pink, Daisy Fleabane, and Violet, all of which are being seen right now.
Take a hike into Rock Castle Gorge and you’ll likely be rewarded by some displays of Dwarf Iris, Mayapple, Meadow’s Rue, False Solomon’s Seal, and some Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The staff at the Blue Ridge Music Center is seeing Flame Azalea, Catawba Rhododendron, and great displays of Rhododendron for this coming weekend. The Rosebay Rhododendrons are not expected to be out for several more weeks.
In Doughton Park, visitors may see Flaming Pink Azalea, Catawba Rhododendron, and Mountain Laurel from your car, but if you walk in the woods or stop and take a look closely, you’ll find Dwarf Crested Iris, Bluets, or maybe some Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Moses Cone and Julian Price Park areas, many of the same species are in view, but the staff here is also reporting some Wild Columbine, Pink Ladies Slipper, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and Dutchman’s Pipe.
Regular updates for color reports will be posted to our web site home page. You can also use the National Park Service information line at 828-298-0398 to keep informed of what’s being reported on the Parkway.
Have a safe Parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.