Mid-summer is a great time for blooms here in the Blue Ridge, and remember that your elevation change can make a great deal of difference in what you find blooming along the roadside or down your favorite trail. If you think you’ve missed a favorite bloom at one favorite spot, head up the mountain and you may find it still on display.
In the Peaks of Otter area, north of Roanoke, Daylily, Butterfly Weed, and common St. John’s Wort are being reported. Milkweed, Yarrow, Ox-eye Daisy, and Daisy Fleabane are common summertime blooms and are also nicely on display throughout this area. Don’t miss Black-eye Susan and Woodland Sunflower as well. The Rosebay Rhododendron, which is the white to pink bloom, is popping nicely in the area of Rocky Knob south through the Blue Ridge Music Center area down to the state line. Nice displays of the bright orange Butterfly Weed area also showing in this area of the Parkway.
In North Carolina, around the Linville Viaduct Visitor’s Center, you’ll find Bee Balm, Fly Poison, and nice displays of Black-eyed Susan along milepost 297 to 299 and again at milepost 304. Rosebay Rhododendron is nicely in bloom in many areas around the Cone Estate, and look for St. John’s Wort, Sundrop, and a few remaining Fire Pink.
The far southern end of the Parkway is recovering from some nasty storms lately. Flowers are still popping up in bloom in many areas. Look for Fly Poison, and Galax, Purple-Fringed Orchid, Bee Balm, Turk’s-cap Lily, Sundrop, Phlox, and Wild Hydrangea.
The Parkway is a beautiful place to spend your summer, but it’s not like most other roads. Take some special precautions while driving. Above all, slow down, take your time, and use the overlooks to let traffic that backs up behind you get by.
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.