The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 4/9/2015 – Still looking great!

While some of the early bloomers are gone – no more Dutchman’s Breeches, for example – this is STILL a great time for a visit to The Pocket. My growing wildflower checklist for The Pocket is up to 59 species now, and 41 of them are blooming now, even though a few of those are almost gone. If you want to see Bluebells, better hurry; they are declining fast. The Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) are gone, and I only saw one small patch of Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana). All three Trillium species are still in full glory, but probably the dominant species blooming right now are Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata), and Purple Phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida), which you’ll see all along the Pocket Road on your way in to the parking area.

Eastern Columbine and Purple Phacelia

Eastern Columbine and Purple Phacelia


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Blooming now:

      • Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) – Don’t count on this, I found a single raggedy tiny blossom hidden among some rocks.
      • Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla?) – I think what has supplanted the Cardamine concatenata as the Toothwort in flower along the boardwalk is now Cardamine diphylla – Crinkleroot, aka Two-leaf Toothwort.
      • Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) – I found only one single, small colony blooming.
      • Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) – Quite a few blooming, but hurry if you want to see them this year.
      • Wood Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) – Quite a few still around..
      • Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) – Plentiful, but getting slightly more difficult to find.
      • Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) – Peak or very close. I love these plants.
Woodland Stonecrop

Woodland Stonecrop

False Garlic

False Garlic

      • Bishop’s Cap (Mitella diphylla) – Quite a number blooming along the extension trail to the falls.
      • Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) – Peak.
      • Geranium (Geranium maculatum) – Peak or quite nearly so.
      • Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) – Several of these have formed their pulpits. I took a look in one and it had a couple of flowers on the spadix,
      • White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) – Several plants blooming along the boardwalk; a few also starting to drop their flowers.
      • Ragwort – Roundleaf? (Packera obovata) – Several blooming along the Pocket Loop
      • Wood Vetch (Vicia caroliniana) – Several in bloom at the bottom of the Pocket Loop Trail near the gate.
      • Cumberland Spurge (Euphorbia mercurialina) – Quite a few of these are blooming along the Pocket Loop Trail on the way up to the top of the falls.
      • Squawroot (Conopholis americana) – If you can call a “peak” in these understated flowers, it’s probably now.
      • Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) – Peak, and beautiful. It seemed to me that there were more of these this year than I’ve seen in the past.
Crested Dwarf Iris

Crested Dwarf Iris

  • Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea) – I saw a few of these blooming along the Pocket Loop Trail between the parking area and the top of the falls.
  • Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis) – The small colony along the driveway to the boardwalk is in full bloom.
  • Sweet Anise (Osmorhiza longistylis) – These plants with their tiny white blossoms are just starting to bloom.
  • American Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) – Starting to bloom up by the falls.
  • Hairyjoint Meadow Parsnip (Thaspium barbinode) I found a few of these blooming along the trail up near the top of the falls.
  • Southern Stoneseed (Lithospermum tuberosum) – I’ve seen this before on the eastern side of Pigeon Mountain, but this was the first plant I’ve found on the western side.
Southern Stoneseed

Southern Stoneseed

Forming buds:

  • Wild Blue Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) – Flower buds forming. I’d be real surprised if there aren’t a couple of blossoms showing up over the weekend.
  • Solomon’s Seal – Flower buds forming along the underside of their stems.
  • Solomon’s Plume – Flower buds forming in the cluster at the end of their stems. Real soon.


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2 thoughts on “The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 4/9/2015 – Still looking great!

  1. Michelle

    Based on your experience and the weather so far, when do you think there will be more to see at The Pocket this year, 2016? Early March, or early April? We are planning a field trip there but we are no experts, just a regular Garden Club.
    Thank you!

    1. Gerry Post author

      I’d say “more to see” in early April over early March, although unless we start getting some real winter, all bets are off. Late March and early April are usually pretty awesome. Sometimes early March can be a bit sparse.


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