Spring Wildflowers in the southern Appalachians


Uvalaria grandiflora

Trout Lily
Erythronium americanum

We're certainly ready for spring in my neighborhood. Hopefully, soon we can look forward to warming days and increasingly lush woodlands. Peak time for spring wildflowers should be mid april to late May, depending mostly on elevation. When spring gets a good foothold in Asheville, which is about 2000 feet, it can still be very wintery at the higher elevations. The mountains of South Carolina and north Georgia should be a little farther advanced than the Asheville area.




A good way to judge the progress of spring is by the Dogwood and RedBud trees. The RedBud will be coming out early and offering color to the roadsides. The Dogwood (Cornus florida) is the state flower of North Carolina. They put on a beautiful show, lighting up the brown hillsides with spots of white and advancing up the mountainsides as spring gets a stronger hold. What appears to be the flowers are actually specialized leaves and the flower parts are small and inconspicuous. Above the elevation where the Dogwoods are visible, it's still going to be a little early for the flowery peak, although there will be some early flowers. The Trout Lily, chickweed and 50 species of violets including Birdsfoot Violets, Halberd Leaved Yellow Violets, Sweet White Violets and others should be fairly easy to spot.

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