This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower report for mid-July. Around the Peaks of Otter in Virginia, visitors will probably find Jewelweed, Butterfly Weed, St. John’s Wort, Butterfly Pea, Common Milkweed, Yarrow, Black Cohosh, Woodland Sunflower, and Deptford Pink, all of which are common summer varieties here in the Blue Ridge.
Throughout the plateau district, which extends from Roanoke to the North Carolina state line, summer blooms are prolific with Black-eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace, Coreopsis, and the bright orange Butterfly Weed common throughout. Rosebay Rhododendron is also very nice right now.
In the Grandfather Mountain area in North Carolina, look for Yarrow, Queen Anne’s lace, and lots of Rosebay Rhododendron blooming along the roadsides of the Parkway. Spiderwort, Phlox, and Morning Glory are common in the Moses Cone area, along with Turk’s-cap Lily and St. John’s Wort. Coreopsis is also in bloom in many areas throughout.
In the high elevations north of Asheville, Rosebay Rhododendron is in bloom along with some new displays of Bee Balm popping out along the higher elevations from around milepost 360 to 370. Wild Bergamot is starting to show also. These should provide a colorful drive for the next month.
St. John’s Wort is thick from milepost 355 to 360. There are nice displays of Butterfly Weed right around milepost 380 and again close to the Parkway Visitor’s Center in Asheville. Wild Hydrangea are on display in the Asheville area, Black-eyed Susan, Ox-eye Daisy are more prominent each day.
The Parkway is a beautiful and cool place to spend a July weekend or anytime in the summer, but it’s not like most other roads. Please take some special precautions while driving. Above all, slow down, take your time, and use the overlooks to let other traffic that backs up behind you get by. As we often tell visitors, enjoy the view, but watch the road.
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.