This is the Parkway wildflower report for the second week of July 2009. Don’t think that because spring is past us that wildflower blooms are as well. For many visitors the mid-summer blooms are just as special.
If you’re traveling around Mabry Mill in Virginia here is what you might find along the roadside or down your favorite trail. Rosebay Rhododendron, this is not the purple but the white or pink blooming variety, Day Lilies, Daisy Fleabane, Ox Eyed Daisy, Yarrow, Milkweed, the brilliant orange Butterfly Weed and Gray’s Lily.New this week is Black Cohosh, Jewel Weed, Spiderwort and Flowering Spurge.
In North Carolina those who stroll the Carriage Trails at Moses Cone Estate will see many of the same species including Rosebay Rhododendron, Common and Purple Milkweed, Ox Eyed Daisy and Spiderwort. Summer wouldn’t be complete without lots of Black Eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace, Yarrow and Fleabane. Some leftover species from spring are still visible including some Fire Pink, Jack in the Pulpit, and St. John’s Wort. Don’t miss Bertha Cone’s Rose Garden while you’re at the Cone Estate.
At Raven’s Rock look for Clematis and Bee Balm and while visiting the Linn Cove Area or Tanawha Trail you might find Yarrow, Meadow Rue and Rosebay Rhododendron nicely in bloom. Near Beacon Heights look for Galax, Turkey Beard, Bowman’s Root, Indian Pipe, Black Cohosh and Wild Hydrangea; they are nicely on display. Walking the banks of the Linville River either in the campground or the picnic area and you’re likely to see Bee Balm blooming along with Yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Phlox and Black Eyed Susan. These varieties are also being reported in the Crabtree Meadows area.
On the very south end of the Parkway between Mt. Pisgah and Cherokee an observant motorist will see Spiderwort and Fly Poison, Turks Cap Lily, some remaining Fire Pink, Sun Drops, Morning Glory and just a few remaining Mountain Laurel in this very high elevation.
There’s been an increase in bear sightings throughout the region and this means taking some extra precautions in food storage at picnic areas and campgrounds and being careful to keep your distance from all park wildlife during your adventures down trails.It’s a busy time on the Parkway here in July so watch out for those built in distractions like great views, wildlife, extra traffic and bicyclists.
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.