2014 Wildflower Reports

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September 26
Low Gap (Cosby Campground to Low Gap) – White Snake Root, Golden Rod Erect, White Top Aster, Great Lobelia, Filmy Angelica, Black Cohosh, Heal All, Curtis Aster and Mountain Gentian (really nice).

September 15
Meigs Mountain
(From Jakes Creek Trail to Curry Mountain Trail) – Golden Rod Erect, White Top Aster, White Snakeroot, Pink Turtlehead, Mountain Gentian (really nice ones) and Hearts-a-busting.

Curry Mountain (B-E) – Golden Rod Erect, Curtiss Milkwort, White Snakeroot, Great Lobelia,  Dark Jewelweed, Wild Golden Glow and Red Clover.

September 12
Sugarland Mountain
(From the  A T to Huskey Gap) – White Snake Root, White Top Aster, Golden Rod Erect, Pale Jewelweed (one area massy beautiful display – many many), Black Eyed Susan, Love Vine, Mountain Gentian (2), Filmy Angelica, Curtis Aster, Doll Eyes berries and Black Cohosh.

Huskey Gap (B to Huskey Gap) – Golden Rod Erect, Canadian Violets, Curtis Aster, White Top Aster, Pale Jewelweed (really nice large display), White Snakeroot and Hearts-a-busting

September 5
Trillium Gap (From Roaring Forks Motor Trail to Trillium Gap) – White Top Aster, White Snakeroot, Goldenrod Erect, Pink Turtlehead, Sweet White Violets (2), Pale Jewelweed, Black Cohosh and Filmy Angelica.

Brushy Mountain (B-E) – Mountain Myrtle, Black Cohosh, White Snakeroot, White Top Aster, Pale Jewelweed, Rosebay Rhododendron (1), Rattlesnake Plantain (2), Pink Turtlehead (nice), Pinesap (2), Hearts-a-bustin and Cardinal Flower (1).

September 1
Jakes Creek
(B-E) – Wild Golden Glow, White Top Aster (many), Asiatic Dayflower, Smooth Phlox, Pale Jewelweed (many), Dark Jewelweed, White Snake Root, Golden Rod Erect, Black Eyed Susan, Doll Eyes (Berries), Heal All and Rattlesnake Plantain.

August 25
Appalachian Trail
(From Dome to Goshen Prong Trail) (Includes half-mile traditional trail from dome parking lot to the A T).  -Wild Golden Glow, White Snake Root, Joe Pye Weed, Yarrow, Crimson Bee Balm, Heal All, Pale Jewelweed, White Clover, Red Clover, Ox Eye Daisy, Filmy Angelica, Love Vine, Bush Honeysuckle, Pink Turtlehead, Michaux’s Saxifrage, Early Goldenrod and Erect Goldenrod.

Goshen Prong (B-E) – White Snake Root, Pink Turtlehead, White Top Aster, Indian Pipe, Rattlesnake Plantain, Coreopsis, Filmy Angelica, Goldenrod Erect, Dark Jewelweed, Wild Golden Glow and Heal All.

Little River (B to Goshen Prong) – Asiatic Dayflower, White Top Aster, Heal All, Pale Jewelweed and White Snakeroot.  Note:  Witch Hobble, Blue Berry and Red Maple leaves are changing to their autumn wardrobe in the mid and high elevations.

August 22
Middle Prong (B-E) – White Top Aster, Pale Jewelweed, Heal All, Love Vine and Yellow Wood Sorrell.

Greenbrier Ridge (B-E) – Doll Eyes (berries), White Top Aster, Wood Nettle, Love Vine, White Snakeroot, Pale Jewelweed, Crimson Bee Balm, Wild Golden Glow, Joe Pye Weed, Golden Rod Erect and Indian Pipe (1).

August 11
Metcalf Bottoms Trail
(B-E) – Tick Trefoil, Heal All and Flowering Spurge.

Walker Sisters Cabin Trail (B-E) – Tick Trefoil, Cardinal Flower (just started blooming), Coreopsis, Dark Jewelweed, Heal All, Thimbleweed, Southern Harebell, Red Clover, Rattlesnake Plantain and Flowering Spurge.

Little Brier Gap Trail (B-E) – Heal All, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Tick Trefoil and Yellow Fringed Orchid.

Little Greenbrier Trail (B-E) – Tick Trefoil, Coreopsis, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Wood Nettle, Basil Bee Balm, Smooth Phlox, Rosebay Rhododendron (1), Pale Jewelweed, False Fox Glove, Turk Cap Lily (1), Partridge Pea, Southern Harebell, Curtiss Milkwort, Star Grass, Erect Golden Rod (Just starting to bloom), Sweet Golden Rod (just starting to bloom) and Yellow Fringed Orchid (11).

Wear Gap Road (Boundary to Little River) – Heal All, Wild Potato Vine, Tick Trefoil, Mountain Mint, Cardinal Flower (just starting to bloom), Black Eyed Susan (outstanding blooms – at peak), Dark Jewelweed, Smooth Phlox, Red Clover, Flowering Spurge, Joe Pie Weed, Partridge Pea, Horse Nettle, Asiatic Dayflower, Yellow Wood Sorrell, Wild Sensitive Plant, Thimbleweed and Hairy Milk Pea.

August 4
Grapeyard Ridge (B-E) – Yellow Fringed Orchid (70 – First time seeing these flowers so abundantly & beautiful display), False Fox Glove, Heal All, Wood Nettle, Star Grass, Tall Bellflower, Tick Trefoil, Hawkweed, Pinesap (one group), Southern Harebell, Pale Jewelweed, Cardinal Flower (1), Turk Cap Lily (2), Coreopsis, Rattlesnake Plantain, Crimson Bee Balm and Smooth Phlox.

July 28
School House Gap
(B-E) – Basil Bee Balm, Rattlesnake Plantain, Coreopsis, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Yellow Fringed Orchid (4), Tick Trefoil, Thimbleweed, Mountain Angelica, Queen Ann’s Lace, Heal All and Doll Eyes (berries).

Chestnut Top (B-E) – White Top Aster, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Curtiss Milkwort, Yellow Fringed Orchid (1), Tall Bellflower, Horse Nettle, Pale Jewelweed, Turk Cap Lily (1), Mountain Saint John’s Wort and Pokeweed.

July 14
Turkey Pen
(B-E) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Tick Trefoil, Star Grass, Basil Bee Balm, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Mountain Angelica, Rattlesnake Plantain, Black Cohosh, Coreopsis and White Top Aster. School House Gap (From Turkey Pen Trail to Laurel Creek Rd.) – Basil Bee Balm, Rattlesnake Plantain, Tick Trefoil, Rosebay Rhododendron, Mountain Angelica, Wood Nettle and Doll Eyes berries fully colored. 
Bote Mountain (B to Finely Cane Trail) – Basil Bee Balm, Rattlesnake Plantain, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Red Clover, Rosebay Rhododendron, Heal All, Star Grass, Coreopsis and White Clover. Finely Cane (B-E) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Tick Trefoil, Basil Bee Balm, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Wood Nettle, Black Cohosh and Rattlesnake Plantain. Note:  Not many flowers blooming now.  Rosebay Rhododendron blooms are about gone.

July 7
Cooper Road Trail
(From Abrams Creek Campground to Hatcher Mountain Trail) – Wild Potato Vine, Wild Hydrangea, Spiderwort, Black Cohosh, Butterfly weed, Heal All, Rattlesnake Plantain, Star Grass, Mountain Angelica, White Clover, Rosebay Rhododendron, Mountain Camelia (few), Coreopsis, White Top Aster, Daisy Fleabane, Black Eyed Susan and Tick Trefoil.

Hatcher Mountain (From Cooper Road Trail to Little Bottoms Trail) – White Top Aster, Star Grass, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Coreopsis, Rosebay Rhododendron, White Clover, Wild Hydrangea, Basil Bee Balm, Curtiss Milkwort (just starting to bloom), Sourwood, Pokeweed, Rattlesnake Plantain, Red Clover, Horse Nettle and Tick Trefoil.

Little Bottoms (B-E) – Star Grass, Rosebay Rhododendron, Wild Hydrangea, Sourwood, Butterfly Pea (3), Coreopsis, Pokeweed, Tick Trefoil, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross and Bleeding Heart.

June 16
Gregory Ridge Trail
(B-E) – Pipsippewa, Rosebay Rhododendron, Wild Hydrangea, Galax, Foam Flower, Indian Pipe, Star Grass, Flame Azalea, Canadian Violet and Indian Cucumber Root. Gregory Bald (From Gregory Ridge to Parson’s Branch Road) – Common Cinquefoil, Prostrate Bluet, Flame Azalea, Galax, Star Grass, Wild Hydrangea, Spiderwort, Canadian Violet, Loosestrife, Hawkweed and Rosebud Orchid (2) (eyes only please).

April 25
Chestnut Top
(B-E) – Bishop Caps, Purple Phacelia, Yellow Trillium, Trillium Erect, /Solomon’s Seal,  Foam Flower, False Solomon’s Seal (Just starting to bloom), Sweet Cicely, Rue Anemone, Star Chickweed, Stonecrop, Hooked Buttercup, Bed Straw, Silver Bells, Spring Beauty, Dogwood, Squaw Root, Meadow Parsnip, Long Spurred Violet, Buckeye, Toothwort, Yellow Mandarin, Crested Dwarf Iris, Common Blue Violet, Fire Pink, Common Cinquefoil, Little Brown Jugs, Dog Hobble (JSB), Cancer Root, Dutchmen’s Pipe, Sweet White Violet, Lousewort, Catesby Trillium (great display), Bird Foot Violet, Wild Oats, Trailing Arbutus (AG), Halberd Leaf Violet, Carolina Vetch and Star Grass.  Note:  Down to Bird Foot Violet most of the blooms were on the first half-mile of the trail.??School House Gap (B-E) – Common Blue Violet, Bird  Foot Violet, Dogwood, Common Cinquefoil, Rue Anemone, Long Spurred Violet, Star Grass, Crested Dwarf Iris, Wild Strawberry, Halberd Leaf Violet, Carolina Vetch, Lousewort, Catesby Trillium, Wild Phlox, Large Flowered Bellwort, Sweet White Violet (outstanding display), Hooked Buttercup, Golden Ragwort (JSB), Wild Geranium, Dog Hobble (JSB), Canadian Violet, Daisy Fleabane, Solomon’s Seal, Trillium Erect, Toothwort and Yellow Trillium.

Bote Mountain (From Laurel Creek Road to West Prong Trail) – Long Spurred Violet (+), Sweet White Violet (outstanding display), Catesby Trillium, Lousewort, Gold Ragwort (JSB), Crested Dwarf Iris, Wild Strawberry, Trillium Erect, Solomon’s Seal, Common Cinquefoil, Wild Oats, Dogwood and Lyre Leaf Sage (1).

West Prong (B-E) – Umbrella Magnolia, Common Cinquefoil, Halberd Leaf Violet, Dog Violet (1), Foam Flower, Solomon’s Seal, Dog Hobble (JSB), Daisy Fleabane (Past peak), Showy Orchis (very beautiful), Large Flowered Bellwort (JSB), Silver Bell, Doll Eyes (1), Canadian Violet, Hooked Buttercup, Long Spurred Violet, Sweet White Violet (outstanding display), Trailing Arbutus (about gone), Prostate Bluets (AG), Trillium Erect, Star Chickweed (great display), Rue Anemone, Pennywort (AG), Toothwort, Sweet Cicely, Blue Cohosh (AG) and Yellow Mandarin.
Tremont Road (From Laurel Creek Road to the Institute) – Toothwort, Dog Hobble (JSB), Trillium Erect, Showy Orchis (great), Sweet White Violet, Common Blue Violet, Hooked Buttercup, Golden Ragwort (JSB), Crested Dwarf Iris, Bed Straw, Lousewort, Star Chickweed, Wood Anemone (-), Yellow Mandarin, Bishop Gaps, Dogwood, Solomon’s Seal, Foam Flower, Long Spurred Violet, Wild Strawberry, Sweet Shrub, Daisy Fleabane (Past Peak), Common Cinquefoil, Yellow Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Wild Phlox, Purple Phacelia, False Solomon’s Seal (JSB), Wild Geranium and Bleeding Heart.
Special Notice: Tom is presenting a wildflower program on Tuesday evenings at 8 PM in the Cades Cove Amphitheater (across from the ranger station). Later in the season, it may be starting at 9 PM.

April 22
Abrams Falls
(From Cades Cove to falls) – Halberd Leaf Violet, Star Chickweed, Bleeding Heart, Daisy Fleabane and Sweet Shrub. Many blooms: Common Blue Violet, Catesby Trillium,  Common Cinquefoil, Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe and Gay Wings Few blooms:  Golden Ragwort, Halberd Leaf Violet, Prostate Bluets, Little Brown Jugs,  Wood Anemone, Lousewort,  Solomon’s Seal, Long Spurred Violet, Crested Dwarf Iris, Birdfoot Violet (2) and Carolina Vetch.
Note: The Gay Wings and Common Cinquefoil between the horseshoe and falls are at peak bloom and the display is tremendous.

April 18
Little River from Trailhead to Huskey Gap Trail
– Bishop Caps, Blue Cohosh, Brook Lettuce, Canadian Violet, Celandine Poppy, Common Blue Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Dogwood, Frasier Sedge, Golden Ragwort, Hispid Buttercup, Hooked Buttercup6, Jack-n-Pulpit (1), Large-Flowered Bellwort, Large Flowered Trillium, Lousewort,Prostate Bluet, Rue Anemone, Service Berry, Showy Orchus, Silver Bell, Solomon’s Seal, Spring Beauty, Squirrel Corn, Star Chickweed, Stone Crop, Sweet White Violet, Toothwort, Trillium Erect, White Fringed Phacelia, Wild Phlox, Wild Ginger, Wild Strawberry, Wood Anemone, Yellow Mandarin, Yellow Trillium, Yellow Wood Violet.

April 11
Porter Creek (B-E)
–  Yellow Trillium, Common Blue Violet, Trillium Erect, Trout Lily, Squirrel Corn, Rue Anemone, Wild Phlox and Dutchmen’s Breeches. Many Blooms: Large Flowered Trillium, Long Spurred Violet, Frazer Sedge, White Fringed Phacelia, Wood anemone, Spring Beauty and Dwarf Ginseng. Few Blooms:  Creamy Yellow Violet,  Sweet White Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Little Brown Jugs, Wild Ginger, Star Chickweed and Hepatica. Just Starting to Bloom:  Foam Flower, Blue Cohosh, Daisy Fleabane, Wild Geranium, Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip, Bishop Caps and Yellow Mandarin. Past Peak Blooming:  Seersucker Sedge and Toothwort.
Note: The White Fringed Phacelia is at peak.  The blooms between the long foot log bridge and Fern Falls are fantastic.  Probably a hard rain would greatly reduce the quality of the blooms on many of the plants. Now is an excellent time to view the flowers on this trail.


Bloodroots (Sanguinaria canadensis) are some of the first spring ephemerals to bloom in early March. – GSMA Photo

April 9

Metcalf Bottoms Trail (B-E) – Yellow Trillium, Wood Anemone, Rue Anemone and Carolina Vetch. Decent number of Yellow Trillium and Wood Anemone in bloom.

Walker Sisters Cabin Trail (B-E) – Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe, Common Blue Violet, Rue Anemone, Wood Anemone, Carolina Vetch,  Sweet White Violet, Halberd Leaf Violet and Star Chickweed. Good number of Rue Anemone and Star Chickweed in bloom.??Little Brier Gap Trail (B-E) – Star Chickweed, Halberd Leaf Violet, Yellow Trillium and Trailing Arbutus.  Not many blooms.

Little Greenbrier Trail (From Little Weir Gap to Wear Gap Road) – Common Blue Violet, Trailing Arbutus, Wild Oats (1), Birdfoot Violet, Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe and Common Cinquefoil. Not many blooms.?? Wear Gap Road (From Park Boundary to Metcalf Bottoms) – Carolina Vetch, Yellow Trillium, Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe, Common Blue Violets,  Rue Anemone and Hepatica. Good number of Rue Anemone and Common Blue Violets in bloom.

April 8

First half-mile of Chestnut Top: Spring Beauty – Trillium Erect  – Yellow Trillium – Solomon’s Seal – Rue Anemone – Purple Phacelia –  Star Chickweed – Long Spurred Violet – Common Cinquefoil – Little Brown Jugs – Stone Crop – Seersucker Sage – Fire Pink (1), Bloodroot and Toothwort. Porters Creek trail is expected to be at peak for the next week. Cove Hardwood Trail – Spring beauty, hepatica, squirrel corn, fringed phacelia, fiddle-head ferns, yellow trillium, white erect trillium, large-flowered trillium, trout lily, blue violets.

April 1

White Oak Sinks – hepatica and spring-beauties now in bloom. Still early for most flowers. Little White Oak on the other side of White Oak Sinks falls, wildflowers are much more advanced. Several types of arboreal orchids are in bloom and tree ferns have greened. Temperatures and humidity much higher than in big White Oak. Noted a fence lizard that I judged to weigh over 40 pounds. Water lilies now past peak. Several extremely large pileated woodpecker like birds. Still a great hike for the adventurous. Hepatica and spring-beauty are blooming on Porters Creek Trail in Greenbrier. This area should be a good destination for wildflower seekers over the next three weeks.

March 24

In Cades Cove, visitors can find the daffodils blooming at the site of Civilian Conservation Camp # 5427, which operated in the cove in the 1930s. Through the years, the daffodils have spread, but if you have a very good eye, and a better imagination, you can see “CO 5427” spelt out by the flowers. According to Tom, “The daffodils at the old CCC camp across the road from the Missionary Baptist Church are in full bloom at this time. In fact, it is one of the best displays that I have observed there. The letters are fairly clear and only the numbers 4 and 2 are somewhat difficult to make out.”

March 21

Rabbit Creek Trail (From Abrams Creek Ranger Station to Hannah Mountain Trail) – Really nice Hepatica blooms about a half-mile up the trail on the left.  Some Trailing Arbutus and Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe in bloom. Also, 2 Spring Beauty blooms and one Common Blue Violet bloom seen.  Some of the Trailing Arbutus have beautiful pink blooms (very rich pink).   SPECIAL NOTICE:   ABOUT A QUARTER OF A MILE UP THE TRAIL (ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER CROSSING THE FOOT LOG BRIDGE OVER ABRAMS CREEK THE DISPLAY OF THE DAFFODILS (IN FULL BLOOM NOW)  FOR AROUND 100 FEET ARE A REAL TREAT TO ENJOY. Hannah Mountain Trail (From Rabbit Creek Trail to Campsite #14) – A few Trailing Arbutus and Plantain Leaf Pussy Toe in bloom.

March 7

It appears that the blooms will be late this year, which probably surprises no one.   Today I found nothing blooming on the Jakes Creek Trail.   I did check out the first quarter of a mile of Chestnut Top and found:   2 Spring Beauty blooms, a Long Spurred Violet in bloom and a few Star Chickweed in bloom.  The Plantain Leaf Pussy Toes were budded.  A week ago on Little Bottoms Trail, I found a couple of Common Cinquefoil blooming.

Great Smokies

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The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

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