North Carolina Wildflowers
Wildflower Note: If I have misidentified these flowers, please feel free to add a comment in the comment section. I welcome all comments and corrections! The idea is to get it right! Thanks in advance.
Wildflowers are such a gift of nature. I am always looking for new little flowers along each trail and love finding those blooms that are short-lived and rare.
Oresostemma apligenum A widespread flower in drier meadows and stony slopes (common in the Sunrise area). Distinguished by a single flower head per stem, with a few small, narrow leaves along stem. These are all over the North 40.
Found on Alum Cave Trail, August 29, 2015
A low growing strawberry like plant with several yellow flowers on a leafless flower stalk extending from a bed of evergreen leaves. It has 5 petals 3 to 6 pistals and many stamens. Foliage divided into 3 wedge shaped, toothed, 1-2″ leaves. Height: 3-8″
Bitterroot was Adopted as the State flower of Montana in 1895 Botanical name: Lewisia rediviva and Bitterroot Sand Rose Also called “the resurrection flower” Fun Fact: In 1805, Bitterroot was first discovered by Meriwether Lewis of the historical Lewis and Clark expedition; thus, the genus name of the flower, “Lewisia” In 1893, after the famous … Continue reading Bitterroot
Gaillardia /ɡeɪˈlɑːrdiə/ Gaillardia is a member of the sunflower and is common in North and South America. The common name refers to the resemblance of the color to Native American blankets. It grows wild on our Montana property and the surrounding area. These little gems grow all over the North 40. They come up in … Continue reading Blanket Flower
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) Herbaceous flowering perennial that is also known as bloodwort, redroot, red puccoon, and sometimes parson. It’s juice is red and poisonous. I see these blooms on almost every trail here in the western part of N.C. “Bloodroot grows from 20 to 50 cm (7.9 to 19.7 in) tall. It has one large basal leaf, up to … Continue reading Bloodroot
Bluets are my favorite wild flower. These tiny little stars bloom out of cracks and crevices on woodland trails in Western North Carolina. You can find them on almost every trail in the western part of the state during their blooming season. They are happy little flowers that are tenaciously prolific. They bloom and reseed … Continue reading Bluets
Gentiana andrewsii (bottle gentian, closed gentian, or closed bottle gentian) is a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the Gentian family Gentianaceae. Plants are native to northeastern North America from the Dakotas to the East Coast and bloom in late summer (August–October). The flowers are 2 to 4 cm long, typically a rich blue color and bottle shaped with closed … Continue reading Bottle Gentian
The Common Buttercup is a tall branchy plant with glossy yellow flowers that “cup” up.The flowers are about 1″ in diameter and have 5 petals. 1-4″ basal leaves.
Claytonia caroliniana, the Carolina springbeauty, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Montiaceae. Its native range is eastern and central North America from Newfoundland west to Ontario, Minnesota, and the Ozarks and south as far as northern Alabama. Claytonia caroliniana is a perennial herb producing spherical underground tubers. Its flowers are white or pink, sometimes … Continue reading Carolina Spring Beauty
See Iris Cristata A low, bearded Iris of southern and midwestern wooded uplands. It is fragrant and grows in peaty soils and pine barrens from Maryland southward. A single, violet-blue flower with 6 spreading petal parts at the top of a short slender stalk. The bloom is about 2 1/2″ wide with 3 broad petal … Continue reading Dwarf Crested Iris
Redbud. Glorious purple-pink blossoms brighten early spring in many North American forests. Available in a range of graceful forms, redbud is adaptable to a wide spectrum of garden climates — in California it performs more dramatically than the native California redbud. Botanical name:Cercis canadensisCommon name: Eastern redbudUSDA zones: 4 to 9Size: Up to 30 feet tall; compact varieties are … Continue reading Eastern Redbud
The Flame Azalea is the most dramatic of all azalea and is found in the wild in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the bushes are over 7 feet high and can spread as much as 8 feet. Like most of the flowering plants in the Blue Ridge, it’s blooms are relatively short-lived.
“Old-man’s-beard” Shrub or small tree with short trunk, oblong and narrow crown with showy masses of fragrant lacy, white, flowers. You can smell the sweet blooms from 1/4 mile away. Leaves: 4-8″ Narrow, ellipticalHeight: 30′Flowers: 1″ long with delicate corolla of 4 narrow whitish lobes with purple dots inside at the base. Many of these … Continue reading Fringetree
“Gill-over-the-Ground” Mint Family Flowers are 1/2-3/4″ long 2-lipped, the lower lip with 3 lobes and 4 stamens that do not protrude. The leaves are 1;2-1 1/2″ long with wavy, margined edges.
Viola hastata, commonly known as the halberd-leaved yellow violet, is a perennial plant in the violet family found in the eastern United States. It blooms from March to May with yellow flowers. It one of the “stemmed” violets because its leave are all on an above ground stem. It is easily recognized because of it’s … Continue reading Halberd-Leaved Violet
The common name of this Hawthorne honors the Biltmore Estate here in Western North Carolina where early studies of hawthorns were conducted. Small tree with irregular crown, thicket forming shrub. Has 5/8″ flowers with white petals. Crataegus
Spending time at the North 40 is a bit bittersweet. We have this entire wonderful place and Phil still has to work and cannot enjoy it. He rode with me on the trip out and stayed here for 20 hours before flying out to go back to work. 🙁 So, as I walked the Mountain … Continue reading Hiking Mountain View Trail
Hyacinth Triteleia grandiflora See Wild Hyacinth I found a few pictures online that have this flower classified in the hyacinth family. It could be misinformation, however. I made the final specification based on the shape of the leaves and blooms. We found them sparsely populating our property mainly in the more arid section.
Featured Picture Found on Alum Cave Trail, August 29, 2015
Wildflower season in the Northern Rockies is in full bloom late May through June. This year, I got spent several weeks at our house during the peak of the flower season. I walked all over the property with my camera trying to make sure that I cataloged the species there. A Few Notable Flowers I Found: ARROWLEAF BALSAMROOT This … Continue reading June in Montana
There are different types of Larkspur and I am struggling to classify this particular variety. It looks a lot like the “Spring Larkspur” picture found in the Audubon Field Guide. Online resources are contradictory. Delphinium is a genus of about 300 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere … Continue reading Larkspur
Earliest to Emerge in WNC Trillium cuneatum, the little sweet Betsy, is a flowering perennial plant which is native to the southeastern United States, with a few scattered populations naturalized in the midwestern part of the country. It flowers in early March to mid April. It is also known as whip-poor-will flower, large toadshade, purple … Continue reading Little Sweet Betsy
See Bluebell The small, delicate bluebell seems to be hardy in arid rocky dirt. The leaf is sage colored.
“Leucothoe fontanesiana, the highland doghobble, fetter-bush, mountain doghobble or switch ivy, is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, native to the southeastern United States. It is an erect evergreen shrub growing to 1–2 m (3–7 ft) tall by 3 m (10 ft) broad, with laurel-like glossy leaves 6–16 cm (2–6 in) long, … Continue reading Mountain Doghobble
Mountain Laurel bloom late spring – early summer in Western North Carolina in the wooded high altitudes. Their blooms are a delicate washed out pink with darker veining within the bloom.
Spring has sprung here in the mountains and I’m scrambling to get out and photograph as many flowers as possible before they are gone. So many of the spring flowers bloom only for a few short days! So, here are a few of the flowers I saw today. Bluets Common Blue Violet Star Chickweed Barren … Continue reading NC Wildflowers
Trillium undulatum, the painted trillium, is a wildflower of the genus trillium found from Ontario in the north to northern Georgia in the south and from Michigan in the west to Nova Scotia in the east. It is also known as painted lady or trille ondulé. It demands strongly acidic, humus-rich soils and tends to … Continue reading Painted Trillium
Pasque Flower (or pasqueflower), wind flower, prairie crocus, Easter Flower, and meadow anemone. See Pasque Flower These little flowers look like a wild tulip. The insides are white with purple outer shells. We found these growing in close proximity to the base of Douglas Fir trees. I don’t know if there is a symbiotic relationship … Continue reading Pasqueflower
Periwinkle: This picture was taken on April 8, 2013 at the beginning of the Four Seasons Trail at Chimney Rock State Park. This was the first time I have spotted it blooming in Western North Carolina. It is such a simple little flower. So very pretty.
See Woodland Phlox The blooms of Woodland Phlox make this easily identifiable. It grows in clumps all around our property with white, pink or purple blooms. Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox, woodland phlox, wild sweet william) is a species of flowering plant in the family Polemoniaceae, native to forests and fields in eastern North America. … Continue reading Phlox (Woodland Phlox)
See Pineapple Weed I am not sure I have this flower identified correctly. My picture matches several online pictures, but the wiki pics must be taken after the petals fall off.
I am not sure I have this correctly identified. I is everywhere on the roadsides near White Sulphur Springs in Montana. The leaves don’t look exactly like the pictures I have found online but they are similar and no other flower I can find comes closer to the characteristics of this little clump of flowers. … Continue reading Pingue Rubberweed
Rhododendron vaseyi is a species of flowering plant in the heath family known by the common name pinkshell azalea. It is endemic to North Carolina in the United States, where it is known only from the southern Appalachians in and near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This deciduous shrub may grow up to 5 meters … Continue reading Pink Shell Azalea
Trillium erectum, also known as red trillium, wake-robin, purple trillium, Beth root, or stinking Benjamin, is a speciesof flowering plant native to the east and north-east of North America. It is a spring ephemeral, an herbaceous perennial whose life-cycle is synchronised with that of the deciduous forests where it lives. This plant grows to about 40 cm (16 in) in height with a spread of 30 cm (12 in), and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, … Continue reading Purple (or Red) Trillium
Catawba Rhododendron “Mountain-rosebay” “Purple-laurel” Evergreen small tree thicket forming shrub with broad, rounded crown and spectacular displays of large clusters of purplish blossoms. Height: 20′Leaves: 3-6″ thick and leathery elliptical, blunt at tip and rounded at baseFlowers are 2 1/4″ wide with bell shaped corolla or 5 rounded lobes. They grown on rocky slopes and … Continue reading Rhododendron
Iris missouriensis On or around June 6, 1806, Captain Meriweather Lewis collected this flower on his return trip to Washington. This very interesting story can be read in it’s entirety on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website. Rocky Mountain iris, a member of the iris family, Iridaceae, is a perennial with sword-like blades for … Continue reading Rocky Mountain Iris
Shooting Star (Dodecatheon) Common names include shooting star, American cowslip, mosquito bills, mad violets, and sailor caps.
Campanula divaricata – a.k.a. Southern Harebell, Small Bonny Bellflower, Southern Bellflower, Southern Bluebell. Southern Harebell is a many-branched, somewhat weak-stemmed plant with many dangling, small, bell-shaped blue flowers.
The pictures of this flower are a little ambiguous. I think it is a star chickweed. White 5 petal starlike flowers about the size of a dime in clusters at the top of an erect stem and rising from the leaf axils. The petals are incised half their length or more so that the flower … Continue reading Star Chickweed
Rubus hispidus, with the common names swamp dewberry, bristly dewberry, bristly groundberry, groundberry, hispid swamp blackberry or running swamp blackberry, is North American species of dewberry in the rose family.The plant grows in moist or sometimes dry soils, ditches, swales or open woods in central and eastern North America, from Ontario and Minnesota east to … Continue reading Swamp Dewberry
Table Mountain pine, Pinus pungens, also called hickory pine, prickly pine, or mountain pine, is a small pine native to the Appalachian Mountains in the United States. Pinus pungens is a tree of modest size (6–12 m), and has a rounded, irregular shape. The needles are in bundles of two, occasionally three, yellow-green to mid … Continue reading Table Mountain Pine
Trillium is such a beautiful and delicate spring flower. The most common color in the Blue Ridge and Smokys is white. Pink and Red are pretty, too, but harder to find. Plants of this genus are perennial herbs growing from rhizomes. They produce scapes which are erect and straight in most species. There are three large bracts arranged in a … Continue reading Trillium
Trillium grandiflorum is a perennial that grows from a short rhizome and produces a single, showy white flower atop a whorl of three leaves. These leaves are ovate (i.e., egg-shaped) in outline with pointed tips. They lack petioles (or have extremely short ones) and measure 12–20 cm long by 8–15 cm wide (5-8 in long by 3–6 in width), with very prominently engraved venation. The leaves and the … Continue reading Trillium grandiflorum
It’s tall flowering stem divides into several drooping bright orange flowers. The green streak a the base of each flower segment for a green “star”. Each flower is approximately 2 1/2″ long with recurved petals and petal-like sepals. The Turk’s-cap Lily blooms between July and September and is found in wet bottomland and woods in … Continue reading Turk’s-cap Lily
The leaves of this tiny little spring flower identify it to us as a violet. It grows in wet wooded areas and can be purple, white or yellow.
Prairie flax grows 18–20 inches tall. It rarely stands straight up, but rather leans at an angle. Flowers are pale blue, with 5 petals about 1–1 1/2 inches across, veined in darker blue. Each stem produces several flowers, blooming from the bottom upward. The seeds are produced on the lower flowers while those above continue to bloom. … Continue reading Wild Blue Flax (Prairie Flax)
I was surprised to find that Wild Geraniums grow wild in Western NC! The leaf is classic geranium shape. The bloom is a bit more delicate with less petals and a single bloom on each stalk.
Fragaria /frəˈɡɛəriə/ is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. There are more than 20 described species and many hybrids and cultivars. The most common strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the garden strawberry, a hybrid known as Fragaria × ananassa. Strawberries have a … Continue reading Wild Strawberry
Viburnum lantanoides (commonly known as hobble-bush, witch-hobble, alder-leaved viburnum, American wayfaring tree, and moosewood) is a perennial shrub of the family Adoxaceae (formerly in the Caprifoliaceae), growing 2–4 meters (6–12 ft) high with pendulous branches that take root where they touch the ground. These rooted branches form obstacles which easily trip (or hobble) walkers – … Continue reading Witch Hobble
See North American Blueberry Apparently, Hammonton, New Jersey claims to be the blueberry capital of the world but if you have visited Ivester Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway during the months of July and August, you may beg to differ. There are blueberry thickets so dense no one can walk through them. There are … Continue reading WNC Blueberries
The Wood Anemone is a member of the Buttercup Family. The flower is approximately 1″ in diameter,white and sometimes pink on the reverse side. Anemone quinquefolia is an early-spring flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to North America. It is commonly called Wood Anemone, like Anemone nemorosa, a closely related European species. The American … Continue reading Wood Anemone
The top of Mt. Leconte, Tennessee is covered in these flowers during the summer months. Apparently, they like that high sunny climate.