Fringed Phacelia (Phacelia fimbriata) is the wildflower that covers the hillsides along the Newfound Gap Road like a late dusting of snow in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The blooms form a densely packed groundcover in April. The Fringed variety is one of four Phacelias found in the Smoky Mountains.
Perhaps the most unique characteristic of Fringed Phacelia is that the plant dies after blooming, leaving its seeds to sprout the following year. It’s an annual!
Fringed Phacelia can be viewed along the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail, where it forms a thick understory to the trilliums and other larger wildflowers. Both the photograph above and the one below were taken a few days ago on the Cove Hardwood Trail in the Chimneys Picnic Area.
There is also an especially attractive cove of Phacelia along the upper portions of the Porters Creek Trail as seen in the photo above.
If you’re on a Smoky Mountains getaway, please stop in for a visit at the William Britten Gallery in Gatlinburg, TN, where my complete collection of Smoky Mountains photographs are on display.