This is the Blue Ridge Parkway wildflower report for the end of July 2009. Wildflower blooms don’t go away when spring has past us here in the Blue Ridge. For many visitors the mid-summer blooms are just as special.
On the north end of the Parkway between milepost 0 at Rockfish Gap and through the James River area many wildflowers common this summer are in bloom. You’ll see Daisy Fleabane, Woodland Sunflower, and Black Eyed Susan. Look also for Milkweed, Bellflower, June Pye Weed, Black Cohosh, Queen Anne’s Lace and the bright orange Butterfly Weed.
Many of the same species are out as visitors climb across Apple Orchard Mountain through the Peaks of Otter area. In addition there you may find Snakeroot, Flowering Spurge and Venus Looking Glass. Visiting Rocky Knob, Mabry Mill and Rakes Mill Pond look for remaining Rosebay Rhododendron along with Day Lilies, Daisy Fleabane, Ox Eyed Daisy, Yarrow, Milkweed and Butterfly Weed. Coreopsis and Turks Cap Lily are showing up in some places. New blooms this week include Joe Pye, Ironweed, Tall Meadow Rue and Virgin’s Bower.
Rosebay Rhododendron is hanging on in the Doughton Park area of North Carolina along with some Spiderwort, Black Cohosh, Coreopsis, Black Eyed Susan, and Ox Eyed Daisy as well. Lots of the same can be found further south. Bee Balm, Turks Cap and Sundrop, Evening Primrose, Jewelweed are all out as well. If you’re in the Moses Cone Park area Deptford Pink, St. Johns Wort, Milkweed, Bellflower and Joe Pye Weed and Indian Pipe are prominent.
Hiking along the Beacon Heights trail look for Whorled Loosestrife and Woodland Sunflower. Sundrop and Black Eyed Susan, Coreopsis is common north of Asheville along with Bee Balm, Columbine and Fire Pink. If you’re in the picnic area at Craggy Gardens don’t miss Turks Cap Lily, Bee Balm, Bergamot and Black Eyed Susan.
It is a busy time on the Parkway here in July so watch out for the built in distractions like great views and wildlife, the extra traffic and bicyclists.
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.