Smoky Mountains Wildflowers

Click on any of the photos to see more pictures and information for that wildflower.

Best Early Spring Wildflowers

This time of year in our Smoky Mountains we are all itching to say good-bye to winter and welcome springtime and the wildflower season. These are my cRead More »

Chestnut Top Trail Wildflower Update

The wildflower season is just getting started. As of Monday, March 14th, here’s what’s happening on the Chestnut Top Trail, one of the besRead More »

Favorite Trails: Porters Creek

Porters Creek Trail is a delightful meander in the Greenbrier section of the Smoky Mountains. Head east out of Gatlinburg on Route 321, then after aboRead More »

Mountain Laurel Time in the Smokies

It’s that beautiful time of year again when the Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) bloom along the trails and in the woods of the Great Smoky MoRead More »

Ode to Dogwoods

In April of every year the Smoky Mountains are showered with dogwood blooms like a late spring snowstorm. Everywhere you go … up in the GreenbriRead More »

Porters Creek Trail Wildflower Report

Porters Creek Trail in the Greenbrier area of the Smoky Mountains is in peak bloom for spring wildflowers right now. The upper portion of the trail, fRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Beaked Violet

Beaked Violet (Viola rostrata) is an April blooming wildflower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See the beak? It’s an exaggerated proRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bee Balm

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is a member of the mint family, and as the name implies, holds lots of attraction for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. TRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bellwort

There are several species of Bellwort that you  may encounter during Smoky Mtn springtime trail hikes. In the photos above and below you can easily sRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bishops Cap

I love the way Bishop’s Cap (Mitella diphylla) adds a splash of accent to a wildflower scene, as in the picture below. It’s not usually thRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is a fairly common Smoky Mtns wildflower found in rich woods and along roadsides at low to mid-elevations. The photRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) is the largest, rarest, last to bloom, and probably the most stunning of the Smoky Mountains Dicentras. The other twoRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bloodroot

The calendar has turned towards warmth and renewal, the Smoky Mountains trails are shaking off their winter drowse, and once again we are headed towarRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Blue Phlox

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) is an April-blooming Smoky Mtns wildflower, with the flowers ranging in color from the light blue in the photo aboRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Blue-eyed Grass

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is a petite, delicate Smoky Mountains wildflower. It’s a member of the Iris family, and there are fRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bluets

Bluets (Houstonia serpyllifolia) are identified by the four blue petals surrounding a yellow spot. Common names for this wildflower include Thyme-leavRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Bowmans Root

Bowman’s Root (Porteranthus trifoliatus) is a spring bloomer, preferring dry woods and roadsides. The most curious feature of Bowman’s RooRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Catesby Trillium

Catesby’s Trillium (Trillium catesbaei) is one of my favorite Smoky Mtn wildflowers. The bloom is similar to White Trillium, and it also can be Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Columbine

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a delicate and beautiful presence all along Little River Rd in the Smoky Mountains during April. Look opposiRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Coneflower

Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis) blooms from July to October. Look for it along the Clingman’s Dome Road in the Great Smoky MountaiRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Crested Dwarf Iris

Continuing our theme of spring wildflowers of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, first up this week is the Crested Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata). TRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Dog Hobble

Dog Hobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana) is among the early Smoky Mountains wildflowers.  It’s a member if the Heath family, like Trailing Arbutus, Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Dutchmans Breeches

Dutchmans Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is a unique early spring wildflower found in the Smoky Mountains.  The name of course comes from the blooms,Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Dwarf Ginseng

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) is a tiny plant. The photos on this page make it seem larger than it is. In reality it is something like a white gumdrRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Fairy Wand

Fairy Wand (Chamaelirium luteum) is another member of the Lily family, and is a fairly uncommon Smoky Mountains wildflower. It is unusual in that the Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: False Dragonhead

False Dragonhead (Physostegia viginiana) is also called the Obedient Plant. Notice the way the flower buds line up perfectly in a column. If you twistRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: False Foxglove

False Foxglove (Aureolaria laevigata) is an early autumn wildflower that blooms in September. It seems to be especially attractive to bumble bees, andRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: False Solomon’s Seal

False Solomons Seal (Smilacina racemosa) has leaves that are very similar to true Solomons Seal, but the flowers are very different and make identificRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Fire Pink

Fire Pink (Silene viginica) is definitely not pink, but very bright red. The word pink refers to its membership in the pink family, with notches in eaRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Flame Azalea

It’s that time of year when the late-spring woods are lit up with various shades of orange, yellow and red of the Flame Azalea. The large wild aRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Flowering Spurge

Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata) is a large, bushy plant with many small flowers. It favors fields, roadsides, and open woods.  The picture aboRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Foamflower

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) is a knee-high woodland wildflower and a member of the same Saxifrage family as Bishops Cap. Both have delicate whitRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Fringed Phacelia

Fringed Phacelia (Phacelia fimbriata) is the wildflower that covers the hillsides along the Newfound Gap Road like a late dusting of snow in the GreatRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Gay Wings

Gay Wings (Polygala paucifolia) is a perennial herb in the Milkwort family. The Greek name “Polygala” means much milk, and refers to the bRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Goats Beard

Goat’s Beard (Aruncus Dioicus) is a member of the rose family, and blooms during May to July in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You canRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is a tall, single-stalk summer wildflower, blooming during late-summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Halberd-leaved Violet

Halberd-leaved Violet (Viola hastata) is a very early bloomer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, showing its yellow blossoms as early as lateRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Hearts-a-Bustin’

Hearts-a-Bustin’ (Euonymus americanus) is actually a small shrub. In mid-to-late May these Smoky Mountains wildflowers show a charming but inconRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Hepatica

Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba) is one of the earliest Smoky Mountains wildflowers. The pictures above and below were taken on March 8th along the Cove Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Indian Pink

The bold red and yellow tubular blossoms against the new green leaf make Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) an unusually attractive Smoky Mtns wildflRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Jack in the Pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) can be found along rich hillsides in late April and May. The spathe (pulpit) might be green or come with purpRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Little Brown Jug

Little Brown Jug (Hexastylis arifolia) is a member of the Birthwort family.  Look for its rubbery, arrow-shaped leaves, which are evergreen. Peek benRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Meadow Parsnip

The yellow variety of Meadow Parsnip (Thaspium barbinode) is very common and can be seen on many Smoky Mountains trails in late April into May. The nRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Mountain Mint

Loomis Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum loomisii) is distinctive due to the appearance of being dusted with white powder around the bloom and upper leaves.Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: One-flowered Cancer Root

Now here is a Smoky Mountains wildflower with a dramatic name!  One-flowered Cancer Root (Orobanche uniflora) is one of the root parasites. The tiny Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Painted Trillium

Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) is one of the most attractive, and most elusive of the Trilliums.  A rare sight, perhaps because it is at the sRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Pale Jewelweed

We’ll spend this week catching up on our review of the summer wildflowers found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pale Jewelweed (ImpaRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Pennywort

Pennywort (Obolaria virginica) is a diminutive wildflower that can easily be overlooked among the fallen leaves in the Smoky Mountains forests. There Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Phacelia

There are four varieties of Phacelias in the Smoky Mountains, three of them in the photos on this page. By far the most well-know is the Fringed PhaceRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Pink Lady’s Slipper

  Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) is a member of the orchid family that grows to 18 inches tall. It’s a fairly rare Smoky MtRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Pink Turtlehead

Pink turtlehead (Chelone lyonii) favors wet areas like seeps and stream banks. The image above was taken along the Clingman’s Dome Road in the GRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Purple Fringed Orchid

Purple-Fringed Orchid (Platanthera psycodes) is a stunning Smoky Mtns wildflower that favors the higher elevations. This is actually the Lesser PurplRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Pussytoes

The name Pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) certainly conjures a soft, cute impression, and in real life, this wildflower is just that. Blooming in AprilRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Red Elderberry

These Smoky Mountains photos show Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), which is one of the wildflowers that is actually a shrub that grows to 10 feet Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Rhododendron

Mid-June to July is the bloom time for the wild Smoky Mountains Rhododendrons. There are primarily two types to look for.  The White, or Rosebay, varRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Rosy Twisted Stalk

Rosy Twisted Stalk (Streptopus roseus) is a member of the Lily family, and a small Smoky Mtns wildflower that blooms in May.  It’s rare in the Read More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Rue Anemone

These delicate beauties were photographed along the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail in the Chimneys Picnic Area of the Great Smoky Mountains National ParkRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Shooting Star

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) is an unusual and attractive Smoky Mtn wildflower. It’s a member of the Primrose family and grows to two feeRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Showy Orchis

Showy Orchis (Galearis spectabilis) is, as the name implies, in the Orchid family. It’s a spectacular discovery, when you find it. But as a mattRead More »

Smoky Mountains Wildflowers: Smooth Creeping Bush Clover

Smooth Creeping Bush Clover (Lespedeza repens) is a trailing, ground-hugging, member of the pea family that adds a beautiful accent to the dry woods oRead More »

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