This is the Blue Ridge Parkway wildflower report for June 12. An abundance of rain in the region here in late spring has given us full creeks and nice waterfalls tumbling down to the Piedmont along with a prolific wildflower bloom. All of the districts are reporting great blooms so get your pencils ready here’s what’s being reported.
On the far north end of the Parkway, Mountain Laurel is now in peak bloom though this area. Goat’s Beard is starting to bloom; Catawba Rhododendron blooms are still visible in a few areas but are quickly waning.
Through the Otter Creek and James River area, Laurel is currently peak along with Princess Tree, Tulip Poplar and Cherry Trees. Yarrow and Golden Groundsel, Queen Anne’s Lace, Japanese Honeysuckle can also be seen from the motor road. Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel are still in bloom in the high elevation across Apple Orchard Mountain although it’s waning right now.
Around Mabry Mill in spite of a hail storm that affected many of the blooms, visitors can still find Catawba Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel and Fire Pink. At the Blue Ridge Music Center near the state line an abundance of Fire Pink is the result of the abundant rain this spring. Mountain Laurel is still in bloom and the first signs of Rosebay Rhododendron. This is the larger white blossomed variety with the later bloom schedule than the purple Catawba Rhododendron that visitors are more familiar with.
In Doughton Park the staff is reporting very nice blooms of Mountain Laurel, a few Flame Azaleas are still left along with Buttercups and Daisy, Cardinal Flowers, Golden Ragwort, and Hogweed. Further south in North Carolina near the Moses Cone Estate, visitors hiking to the Cone Family Cemetery will find Wild Geranium and Buttercups, Spiderwort, Solomon’s Seal and Asters. Along the Figure Eight Trail look for Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Phlox, and Speedwell.
Turkey Beard and Galax and Wild Hydrangeas are nice near Rough Ridge and along the Tanawha Trail look for Grace Lily and Daisy Fleabane, Mountain Laurel and Meadow-Rue. At Linville Falls, Fire Pink and Goat’s Beard are blooming with nice displays of Mountain Laurel near Chestoa View at milepost 320.
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.