This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower Report for the first week of August. Beginning on the North end around the Peaks of Otter in Virginia, visitors will probably find Jewel Weed, Butterfly Weed, Common Milkweed, Yarrow, Black Cohosh, Woodland Sunflower, and Deptford Pink. All of these are common summer varieties here in the Blue Ridge. Turks-cap Lily and Joe-Pye Weed are showing nicely now around the Peaks.
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 still nice in a few places.
In the Grandfather Mountain area, moving into North Carolina, look for Yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, and lots of Rosebay Rhododendron blooming along 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. Joe-Pye Weed is nice around Trout Lake. Look for Bellflower and Basil Balm around the figure eight trail at the Cone Manor, Sundrop at Bass Lake, and Coreopsis in many areas throughout this region of the Parkway.
In the high elevations north of Asheville, Rosebay Rhododendron is in bloom along with some displays of Bee Balm along the higher elevations around milepost 360-370. Turk’s-cap Lily is common along the road from Mt. Mitchell heading down into Asheville. There are nice displays of Butterfly Weed around milepost 380 and again close to the Parkway Visitor’s Center in Asheville. Black-eyed Susans are becoming more noticeable along with Brown-eyed Susan, tall Coneflower popping up between milepost 350 and 370, and Coreopsis is noticeable between the picnic area and Craggy Visitor’s Center.
The Parkway is a beautiful and cool place to spend these very hot days of 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.