This is the Blue Ridge Parkway Wildflower Report for early May 2014. May is often the best month for wildflowers along the Parkway, with elevation and North-South orientation providing a wonderful variety in what can be seen blooming along the road or on the trails.
Ground-covering wildflowers like Skunk Cabbage and Mayapple are visible. Along the roadside, look for Bloodroot, Fire Pink, Trilliums, and Bleeding-Heart.
In Virginia at the Northern end of the Parkway, we have reports of blooming Trilliums and Serviceberries. Blooming Redbuds and Dogwood trees dominate the landscape along the James River, making for a beautiful drive.
In the Roanoke area, Bloodroot, Skunk Cabbage, and Mayapple are showing.
Into North Carolina, there is lots of greening up, but it is dependent on elevation, as it typical this time of year. Redbud, Dogwood, and Serviceberry are nice at the lower and mid elevations. Blooming flowers include Chickweed, Cutleaf Toothwort, Trout Lily, and Trillium.
Near Craggy Gardens we have reports of Dutchman’s Britches, Trillium, and Spring Beauty flowering.
Around Asheville, everything is bathed in Springtime green, interrupted only with the beautiful blooms of Dogwood, Royal Paulownia, and the beginnings of Tulip Poplar and Flame Azalea. The list of blooming flowers is long, with reports of Bellwort, Deadnettle, Dwart Cinquefoil, Robin’s Plantain, Trillium, Buttercup, Mustard, Larkspur, Trout Lily, Spring Beauties, Fire Pink, Wood Aster, Dwarf Iris, Serviceberry, Pink Lady Slippers, Solomon’s Seal, and Wintergreen.
It is always a good idea to have an extra jacket and a few emergency supplies in the trunk of your car when visiting the mountains.