Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mountain Wildflowers

You've probably figured out by now that I really, really love flowers.  Yes, I'm smitten with them and have been for as long as I can remember.  Not only do I like to plant them and watch them grow, take pictures of them, and put them in my house to enjoy; I also like to try and identify them when I see them in a garden or growing along the roadside.

A few weeks ago when we were in the mountains, we drove across the Cherohala Skyway from North Carolina to Tennessee.  We did this a few years ago, and I wrote about it Here.  This year, I was just bowled over by all the wildflowers we saw growing along both sides of the road almost the entire length of the skyway.  It was amazing!  I've never seen such a profusion of wildflowers -- it's like they were on steroids.

I was able to identify 11 different varieties of wildflowers this year (I had to look up some of them online); that's the most I've ever seen in one area.  These flowers were so pretty, I felt like most gardeners would be pleased to have them in their own gardens.  Yet they were just growing wild with no one tending them but Mother Nature.  Have a look and see what you think... 

   Wild Phlox

A Black Swallowtail butterfly lighting on the Phlox. 

Daisy Fleabane

Scarlet Bee Balm

I used to have Bee Balm in my garden in Greensboro many years ago, and my mom has some in her yard now, but I've never seen it growing wild before.  There were big patches of it growing that day, and it made quite a show.

Queen Anne's Lace

This has to be one of my all-time favorite wildflowers, and it has been blooming prolifically this summer.  I can remember as a child finding them growing in meadows, but my mom told me not to bring them in the house because they had chiggers in them.  :)  In the South, Queen Anne's Lace is sometimes referred to as "Chigger Weed."  It's hard for me to think of such a beautiful flower as a weed; it looks so pretty in a bouquet with other flowers.

Purple-Flowering Raspberry

Mr. Forest Manor captured this gorgeous macro shot with his camera.  I don't think I've ever seen this flower before.

Wild raspberries -- Yum.

White Yarrow

At first glance, I thought this was more Queen Anne's Lace; it looks similar, but on closer inspection, it's obvious that it's not Queen Anne's Lace.

Pale Jewelweed

This flower is also known as Pale Touch-Me-Not.  I took these pictures, and they're not as good as the ones Hal took.  These were the sweetest little flowers -- so dainty looking.

Wood Vetch

This is another flower that I don't remember seeing before.  From a distance they look solid white, but in this macro image, you can see the lavender around the edge of the blossoms.

A big cluster of Wood Vetch.

Turks Cap Lily

We also saw lots of these amazing lilies this year, but we didn't get a chance to photograph them because they were always on the opposite side of the road from the rest of the flowers we were taking pictures of.  These images are from our 2012 drive along the Cherohala.

Also this year, we saw a lot of Black-Eyed Susans and Purple Clover flowers, but we didn't get pictures of those either.  I found the pictures below online.

 Black-Eyed Susans  (source)

Purple Clover Flowers  (source)

These were especially pretty in large bunches.

I found two good sights online that were really helpful in identifying some of these wildflowers that I wasn't familiar with.  The first one is; you can find it Here.  The second site I used is "Smoky Mountains Wildflowers," authored by William Britten, Here.  Both of these sites had lots of helpful pictures.

I'm linking to the Mosaic Monday party, hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage -- hope you'll join us there this afternoon.  A big "Thank You" to Mary, at Little Red House for hosting these past years -- we will miss you and wish you well!  Thank you, Judith, for stepping up to host Mosaic Mondays now!  :)

Thank you all for your visit and have a terrific weekend!



  1. Oh this has answered some of my questions. I have ofgen mixed up Queen Anne's Lace with White Yarrow. I'll pay better attention to the leaves. Love those britches! A beautiful collage of wildflowers! Say, you've been working fast. I was just here the other day and it looked nothing like this. It's all lovely!

  2. Oh, what gorgeous photos! We're in NC right now and I took a nature walk around our condo just to photograph all of the wildflowers. Now you've helped me identify one I didn't remember....the pale jewelweed. Now if I can only remember it! Sweet hugs, Diane

  3. Gorgeous flowers and so many pretty colors..Two are my favorite are the Bee Balm and the pretty lilies.. Lovely photos! Enjoy your new week!

  4. I love identifying wildflowers too and have a couple of excellent books for Ontario. Our jewelweed is a dark orange and wild bee balm a light pinky-mauve. The others are the same as what you would find here.
    Thank you for joining Mosaic Monday and sharing the wild flowers native to your area. I see a bee decided to be included in one of the photos.

  5. Oh my...beautiful wildflowers and wonderful photography! Katie and Andrew drove the Cherhola Skyway on their trip out west from North Carolina on Tuesday last week. I'll have to show them your posts about it when they finally arrive here this coming Wednesday.

  6. They're all very pretty! Love the curled lilies:@)

  7. Wildflowers are so beautiful, growing where everyone can enjoy them along the roadways. How great that you identified each one so carefully. Love the lilies and the vetch.

  8. So pretty. Amazing how many wildflowers there are! I have a thick paperback book on wildflowers in the southeast.The white yarrow is stately among a perrenial weed that looks like a vine. They are taking over in my garden.
    I love Queen Anne's lace and it is expensive to order from the florist. It intrigues me and I love it's look in flower arrangements. Interesting how prolific it is as a wildflower and how expensive it is as a desired flower to order.
    We picked wild raspberries in Alaska!! I was terrified of bears as I picked. Not sure if you knew we lived in Alaska in the late 80"s.

    Great post. So much to learn and remember about flowers.
    Great photos and mosaics.

  9. Such a beautiful array of wildflowers! I see many of the same here in Colorado on the plains and the foothills, and I'm trying to learn all their names.

  10. Country drives are so beautiful this time of year! You got some lovely photos!

  11. Denise this is my first time visiting as I popped over from Judith's does my heart good to see so many native wildflowers growing. We don't see that many along the roads...lovely!



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