This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower Report for the week of June 18. 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 prolific wildflower bloom.
Beginning on the north end of the Parkway in the Ridge District, look for nice displays of Mountain Laurel and Goat’s Beard from milepost 0 – 25. Through the James River area, a few Tulip Poplar are still in bloom and just a few remaining Laurel.
A nice wall of rhododendron lines the road across Apple Orchard Mountain north of the Peaks of Otter. Other species there including Columbine and Morning Glory, Golden Alexander, Bluebell, Queen Anne’s Lace, Daisy Fleabane are also visible. Through the Peaks of Otter take a look at the Fire Pink and the Tulip Poplar which are very nice right now.
Further south on the high plateau near Mabry Mill, visitors will find Fire Pink and Bladder Campion. Tulip Tree and Rosebay Rhododendron are on nice display around the Blue Ridge Music Center near the state line.
In North Carolina, Doughton Park staff reports the Catawba Rhododendron is fading but nice Mountain Laurel displays are coming on along with Ox Eyed Daisy, Cardinal Flower and Buttercup. Hawkweed and Golden Rod are showy in the adjacent meadows.
Around the Moses Cone Estate walk the trails to find good examples of Spiderwort, Wild Geranium, Ox Eyed Daisy, Flame Azalea, Jack in the Pulpit and the Catawba Rhododendron. Take in the hike across Rough Ridge you’re likely to find Goat’s Beard and Galax, Laurel, some Mountain Ash and Yarrow. Much of the same can be found at the Linn Cove Visitors Center and the Tanawha Trail. Laurel and rhododendron, Little Brown Jug are nice at Beacon Heights.
Further south in the Pisgah District, south of Asheville, Flame Azalea is vibrant, Mountain Laurel are nicely on display. Fire Pink and Buttercup and Yellow Ragwort, Goat’s Beard, Mountain Krigia are making nice splashes of color as you make this drive. Indian paintbrush is on nice display in fields at milepost 437 and Mountain Spiderwort at Milepost 443 at the end of the Parkway, it’s certainly worth the drive.
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.