Tag

Native plants

Outings, Plants

Big Creek Wildflower Walk

Wildflower photos  by Allen Miller

 

Our first field trip of the year drew seventeen BRNN members to view wildflowers on a mild, damp morning at Big Creek on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We split into two groups, one taking the wide Big Creek trail that runs straight along the north side of the valley, the other crossing the creek to take the Baxter Creek trail that runs south towards Mt. Sterling.  We found a total of 55 flowering plants, shrubs and trees without stepping off the trails.  The Yellow Trillium was everywhere, with Purple Phacelia, Long-spurred  Violet, and Foam Flower making fine shows.  Members new to the area were delighted to discover Showy Orchis, Wild Ginger, and Yellow Mandarin, and more experienced wildflower enthusiasts got a chance to distinguish Golden Alexanders from Smooth Meadow Parsnip.  Scott Dean would have been proud of us!     Read more

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Oconee Bells: The Discoveries of “Perhaps the Most Interesting Plant in North America”

April 2017 Nature Notes contributed by
BRNN member Jenny Squires Wilker

Photo credit Jay Maveety

“Rare and beautiful…The holy grail of plant collectors…Perhaps the most interesting plant in North American,” wrote Asa Gray (1820-1888), the founder of American academic botany, about his life-long obsession, Shortia galacifolia. Also called Oconee Bells, Acony Bells, or Little Coltsfoot, Shortia is a low-growing evergreen perennial, variously described as a dwarf shrub, herb, or ground cover. It is indeed a rare plant, and beautiful all year round, with shiny, scalloped basal leaves that turn from green to reddish-bronze in the winter. One of the loveliest, and most anticipated, spring wildflowers, Shortia’s small, solitary, and waxy flowers are bell-like, nodding on reddish scapes of up to seven inches long. The five fringed petals can be white or pinkish; the flat anthers within are creamy yellow; the long stigma, pink or yellow.

Read more

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March 21, 2017

You won’t want to miss our next meeting!

“Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge” presented by local naturalist and photographer, Scott Dean, will be held at the West Asheville Library on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 5:30-7:00.

Scott will give us a head start on our spring wildflower season with photographs and discussions of how the season affects their growth and life cycle, reproductive strategies and a lot of folklore associated with them.


—Photo, Glass Wildflowers: Shooting Stars, Iris, and Monarda courtesy of Scott Dean

Related posts
Big Creek Wildflower Walk
April 19, 2017
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April 3, 2017
Oconee Bells: The Discoveries of “Perhaps the Most Interesting Plant in North America”
March 27, 2017