The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain Status Update 04/07/2016 – 40 Species Blooming

Another hiatus from The Pocket of almost 2 weeks. Repeating from the last report – “Even more species are blooming now than two weeks ago.” This time I counted 40 species blooming, including one I don’t recall ever seeing down there before – Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata.) But the show is the massive display of Bent White Trillium (Trillium flexipes) – nearly every plant I saw had an open blossom, and the hillside was covered with them in many places.

Bent White Trillium - Trillium flexipes

Bent White Trillium – Trillium flexipes

So, as is customary, here is what I found blooming more or less in order of finding it. This time I didn’t look north of the parking area; I doubt there was anything blooming that wasn’t also blooming along the boardwalk, the trail to the falls, the cliff trail across the falls to the horse trail, and the horse trail.

  • Blackberry (Rubus species) – not sure which species, but they are pretty much surrounding the parking area.
  • Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) – As mentioned above – right at the beginning of the driveway down to the boardwalk.
Cross Vine, Trumpet Flower, Crossvine, Quarter Vine - Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine, Quarter Vine – Bignonia capreolata

  • Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) – Waning, but still plentiful.
  • False Garlic – (Nothoscordum bivalve) – These were much more plentiful around The Pocket than I remember them previously.
  • Long-spurred Violet (Viola rostrata) – Well past peak, but still plentiful.
  • Canada Violet (Viola canadensis) – Plentiful – the section near the back of the boardwalk is lit up with these white beauties.
  • Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) – A few scattered around.
  • Perfoliate Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) – I believe The Pocket has both Perfoliate and Large-flowered Bellwort. The first Bellwort I saw, before the boardwalk, had a smaller flower, was a smaller plant, and had straighter petals than those I saw later.
  • Largeflower Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) – A few blooming along the boardwalk.
  • Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum) – Finally – Peak for these lovely plants. I was surprised to see more bronze/green than the deep red I normally see.

    Heartleaf Foamflower, False Miterwort, Coalwort, Coolwort, False Bitterroot - Tiarella cordifolia

    Heartleaf Foamflower – Tiarella cordifolia

  • Trailing Trillium (Trillium decumbens) – Everywhere…
  • Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) – These lovelies are still plentiful.
  • Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) – I called these “peak” two weeks ago, but they seem more plentiful, and most inflorescences were fully open now than were then.
  • Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) – Violets were numerous.
  • Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) – Still many Bluebells to see, but more plants are going to seed than are still blooming.
  • Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) – Two weeks ago I saw little evidence of their presence; now they are at peak. Beautiful!
  • Trillium flexipes – These are at peak. A few blossoms starting to wilt; very few yet to open – hillside covered with them! Come see them now!
  • Wood Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) – Definitely past peak, but still quite a few to be seen.
  • Star Chickweed (Stellaria pubera) – Do these never stop blooming? I saw the first ones at The Pocket in January this year!
  • Broadleaf Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla) – I think I have these identified correctly – the Cutleaf Toothwort is gone; this Toothwort is blooming.
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) – Many Jacks now in full array.
  • Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) – Still plentiful.
  • Purple Phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida) – Well past peak but plentiful.
  • Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) – One still blooming that I saw.
  • Roundleaf Ragwort – Still plentiful.
Yellow Fairybells, Yellow Mandarin - Disporum lanuginosum

Yellow Fairybells, Yellow Mandarin – Disporum lanuginosum

  • Yellow Mandarin (Disporum lanuginosum) – I always look forward to the flowering of this delightful plant. It is flowering now.
  • White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) – There are more of these blooming now than I recall ever seeing in the past, starting near the end of the boardwalk, and all the way to the falls.
  • Bishop’s Cap (Mitella diphylla) – Many in bloom.
  • Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) – I believe we are at peak for this exciting species.
Eastern Red Columbine, Wild Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis

Eastern Red Columbine, Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis

  • Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) – We may very well be at peak for this excellent plant.
  • Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) – The flower, appearing now, is understated, but during the fruit season this is very interesting.
American Bladdernut - Staphylea trifolia

American Bladdernut – Staphylea trifolia – showing the reason for the species epithet.

  • Meadow Parsnip (Thaspium sp.) These are starting to bloom above the falls. I’ve photographed Thaspium barbinode previously at The Pocket, but the plant I inspected today seemed to be Thaspium trifoliatum.
  • Plantainleaf Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) – Many blooming up above the falls; starting to decline.
  • Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) – One of the more exciting new blooms since my last visit are these beautiful flowers.
Crested Dwarf Iris - Iris cristata

Crested Dwarf Iris – Iris cristata

  • Robin’s Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus) – Many are blooming on the rock wall along the horse trail (Pocket Loop Trail.) The most beautiful of Georgia’s fleabanes.
  • Cumberland Spurge (Euphorbia mercurialina) – Many of these unobtrusive plants in bloom along the horse trail.
  • Squawroot (Conopholis americana) – These are blooming now.
  • Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium sp.) – I found one of these lovely, tiny irises blooming along the horse trail. They are difficult (for me!) to identify to the species.
  • Dogwood (Cornus florida) – These have been blooming in the vicinity for about a week now.

Noteworthy, nearly ready to bloom:

  • Sweet Anise, Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis) – Many of these were just short of blooming.
  • Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum) – So very close to blooming in that big colony just above the falls on the cliff trail. I think I saw one blooming along the falls trail, but I didn’t go back to verify.
  • Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) – This is a new find for me at The Pocket; I have not seen Wild Yam here before, although I have seen it elsewhere on Pigeon Mountain. The flower buds were forming.

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