This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower report for the third week of June.
In the northern areas of the Parkway look for Day Lily, Black Cohosh, and Sumac, and even though it’s invasive Crown Vetch is blooming nicely.
The fields are filled with common varieties of Daisy and Yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Deptford Pink. The Parkway has several varieties of Rhododendron—some of them bloom in the spring, but Rosebay Rhododendron, however, is a summer variety with large white to pink blossoms.
South of Roanoke through Rocky Knob, Mabry Mill and south to the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Rosebay Rhododendron is very nicely in bloom right now. Agricultural fields in this area have Black-Eyed Susan, the bright-orange Butterfly Weed, Day Lily, and a few Canada Lily here and there. These species are typically found many of the fields and meadows throughout the Parkway.
In North Carolina look for Yarrow in the Price Park picnic area, some remaining Mountain Laurel around Price Lake, Spiderwort and Buttercup on the Figure Eight Trail at the Moses Cone Manor house. Nicely blooming Rosebay Rhododendron at Moses Cone Park as well.
Stopping at the Linn Cove Visitor Center look for some of the remaining Fire Pink, Fly Poison, and Field Hawkweed.
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!