Thursday, May 9, 2013

Celebrating National Wildflower Week - Blue Ridge Beauties

In the spirit of National Wildflower Week (May 4 - May 12, 2013), we've expanded our range a bit to encompass a previously unreported early May excursion to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In between soccer games, we slipped up the Parkway to a couple of our favorite hiking trails where we ran into these cool wildflowers. 

Large flowered trillium, Trillium grandiflorum

Star Chickweed, or Great Chickweed, Stellaria pubera

The five individual petals are divided so that the five rays of the "star" appear to be ten.

More trillium, narrower petals, but still Trillium grandiflorum?

Painted trillium, Trillium undulatum

Rare pinkshell azalea, Rhodedendron vaseyi

Wild oats, Uvularia sessilifolia

More painted trillium

Golden ragwort, a spring-blooming aster

This crayfish is not a wildflower, but it was on the prowl in the crystal clear waters of the stream alongside which we found the trillium. Don't be fooled by the red exoskeleton, this critter's very much alive, and the water is about as far from boiling as you can get without icing over!

More pinkshell Azalea, a rare treat!

Cool leaves...


Dwarf Wild Iris

Wild Strawberries, with a single violet

Wild strawberry, up close...

Mystery...look it up and tell me!

Serviceberry (shadbush) in bloom, if you'd like some fruit, come back in June!

Sessileleaf Bellwort, Wild Oats

More wild strawberries (white flowers, 3 leaflets), growing alongside dwarf cinquefoil (yellow flowers, five leaflets), commonly mistaken for wild strawberries!

Apple tree, growing wild in a wooded mountain meadow.

More apple blossoms...

Wake Robin or Red trillium, Trillium erectus

Trillium erectus with spider, beware!

So ends our tribute to early May wildflowers (and big red crayfish) of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Boone/Blowing Rock area.

Happy Wildflower Week!

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