This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower Report for mid to late July.
What a great time to get up on the Parkway and out of the heat of the lower elevations. On the northern end of the Parkway, north and south of Humpback Rocks look for Woodland Sunflower and Black-Eyed Susan, Goldenrod, Yarrow, Milkweed and the tall Joe-Pye Weed is beginning to get showy in many Parkway places.
Queen Anne’s Lace is always nice and showy this time of year. If you’re traveling through the Peaks of Otter look for Elderberry, Jewel Weed, Meadow Rue, Crown Beard, Yarrow, and Ox-Eye Daisy, both Woodland and Rough-Leaved Sunflower, tall Bellflower and Joe-Pye Weed also very showy.
Through the Rocky Knob and Mabry Mill areas south through the Blue Ridge Music Center, the agricultural fields that are predominant in that area are nice with many of the above species—Black-Eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace, Ox-Eye Daisy, and some Turk’s Cap Lily in bloom.
If you’re in North Carolina look for Bee Balm and Cone Flower around the Linn Cove Viaduct, Jewel-Weed around the Viaduct trail and Sim’s Pond, Basil Balm on the Figure Eight Trail at Moses Cone, and some nice patches of Turk’s Cap Lily around Milepost 310.
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!