It’s mid-June along the Parkway and this is the wildflower report for that time of summer. In the northern end of the Parkway north and south of the Farm at Humpback Rocks, visitors can see Elderberry in bloom, Black Cohosh, and Star of Bethlehem. White and Yellow Goat’s Beard and Coreopsis are also common.
If you’re taking a stroll through the Farm at Humpback pay special attention to Columbine, Butter and Eggs, Ox-Eye Daisy, Deptford Pink, and Fleabane Daisy. Yarrow is in bloom–it looks like a delicate version of Queen Anne’s Lace, which will be coming on later in the summer.
Through the Peaks of Otter area look for Goat’s Beard, Yellow Touch-Me-Not, Wild Geranium, along with Day Lillies, Golden Alexander, and Bowman’s Root. A few remaining bright red Fire Pink may be visible along the roadsides.
Grassy bays may have lots of Yarrow and Milkweed, Daisy Fleabane, Ox-Eye Daisy and Deptford Pink.
The fields in the agricultural areas south of the Roanoke area and through Rocky Knob and Mabry Mill are filled with Ox-Eye Daisy, Golden Alexander, Queen Anne’s Lace, and some Black-Eyed Susans showing nicely.
All along the high plateau south of Roanoke through Doughton Park in North Carolina, including the Blue Ridge Music Center, Rosebay Rhododendron—the late-blooming variety—is pinkish-white and is beginning to make its annual appearance. Some should be showy for the next month or so.
Spiderwort and Asters and Buttercups can be seen around the Saddle Overlook, Milepost 169 in Rocky Knob. Look for Meadowrue Sunflower throughout the plateau district.
In North Carolina, if you’re walking the Linn Cove Viaduct Trail or Bass Lake, you’ll find some Bluets and Fire Pink. Buttercups may still remain in the Moses Cone area, along with Coreopsis, Lyerleaf Sage, and Spiderwort.
Mountain Laurel is showy in some areas especially around Price Lake Boat Rental and in the campground. In Craggy Gardens, Catawba Rhododendron is still in bloom but on the decline. But between Asheville and Craggy, look for Sundrop, Goat’s Beard, Fire Pink, and Spiderwort along the roadside.
Through the Asheville corridor Vibernum, Ox-Eye Daisy, Black and Brown-Eyed Susans are nicely in bloom. South of Asheville in the high mountain elevations many of the same are in bloom, but look especially for Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip, Mountain Ash, Flame Azalea, and Mountain Laurel.
The Parkway is a beautiful place to spend your summer but it’s not like most other roads so take in some special precautions as necessary while driving. Above all, slow down, take your time, and use the overlooks to let traffic that backs up behind you get by. As we often tell visitors, enjoy the view, but watch the road!