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, from the long footbridge over the creek on up to Fern Falls, has a stunning ground cover of Fringed Phacelia. I counted over 20 species of wildflowers along Porters Creek Trail this past Saturday. You can’t see it from the photo above, but the Fringed Phacelia are interspersed with Bishops Cap, making a wonderful white bouquet.
Fern Falls is about a two-mile hike from the trail-head. During summer this falls is often dry, but after some spring rains it is flowing nicely. The jumble of boulders below the falls seems to be a perfect environment for Wild Ginger, Saxifrage, Bishops Cap, and Squirrel Corn.
Just below the footbridge that takes you into Fringed Phacelia fantasyland, I spotted one lone Painted Trillium beside the trail.
The lower portion of the trail was not as dramatic as the upper part, but there were nice clumps of Foamflower, and Wood Anemone, lots of Toothwort of both varieties and a few Wild Geraniums. Also a few very nice colonies of Crested Dwarf Iris. And finally, a few Showy Orchis just starting to bloom along the trail, and one in full bloom as you exit the parking area.
If you’d like to follow along with the wildflower season, and you are a Facebook user, please consider becoming a fan of my Smoky Mountains Wildflowers page on Facebook.
And if you’re in the area on a vacation, please stop in at the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd in Gatlinburg, where all of my Smoky Mountains photos are on display.