The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 03/17/2017 – 30 Species Blooming

I always get surprises when I go to The Pocket. Today was no exception, except that since things started blooming so much earlier than usual this year (Hepatica in January!), I was expecting the “early season” to continue – expecting some of the earlier species to be gone, and frankly I was expecting to see the Bent White Trillium blooming. However, with the exception of Lindera benzoin (Spicebush), ALL of the early species were still blooming. So with all those earlier ones, and a few more added this trip, I found 30 species in flower this trip. And those Bent White Trillium, while close, are not yet blooming.  It seems the wildflowers at The Pocket are now closer to “normal schedule” than “really early.”

Bent White Trillium - Trillium flexipes

Not quite yet – Bent White Trillium – Trillium flexipes

Here is the full list of what I found blooming (Click on the hyper-linked scientific name to go to the page with more photos/information on that species.):

Robin's Plantain - Erigeron pulchellus

Robin’s Plantain – Erigeron pulchellus

  • Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) Plentiful.
  • Long-spurred Violet (Viola rostrata) – Plentiful, especially up along the “horse trail.”
  • Canada Violet (Viola canadensis) – Just a few of these are open – a few more than 10 days ago.
  • Smooth Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) – Quite a few around now; 10 days ago I only saw 1.
  • Common Blue Violet – Everywhere
  • Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) – Probably peak.
  • Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) – Several plants blooming. I’d expect them to be gone in a week.
  • Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) – Plentiful; most fully open, but a couple of plants just starting to open.
  • Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) – Quite a few, but many seem to be showing the impact of the freezing weather of earlier this week.
  • Cumberland Spurge (Euphorbia mercurialina) – I’m going to call this “peak”, but who’s going to notice?
Cumberland Spurge - Euphorbia mercurialina

Cumberland Spurge – Euphorbia mercurialina

  • Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum) – I found two plants blooming along the horse trail.
  • Trailing Trillium (Trillium decumbens) – Plentiful, but many more still yet to open.
  • Bishop’s Cap (Mitella diphylla) – Still blooming.
  • Wood Poppy, aka Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) – Several plants blooming; probably should peak in the next week.
  • Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) – The single plant blooming now has two blossoms, and it seems to have taken a beating from the weather. I still didn’t notice foliage-only plants elsewhere.
  • Plantain-leaf Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) – A few blooming.

Added to bloom list since 03/06:

  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – Just starting to bloom. Those in The Pocket always seem to bloom late, the wild one on the ridge above Ridgeland High School have been fully blooming for at least a week now.
  • Robin’s Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus) – Several are blooming on the rock wall along the horse trail (Pocket Loop Trail.) The most beautiful of Georgia’s fleabanes at their glorious peak right now.
Violet Wood Sorrel - Oxalis violacea

Violet Wood Sorrel – Oxalis violacea

  • Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea) – Several of these beautiful plants blooming along the horse trail (and in spite of what I said before about “back on schedule” – these seem early.)
  • Wild Blue Phlox  (Phlox divaricata) – I found a single plant blooming, so this is one of the beauties to look forward to.
  • Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) – OK, calling this “blooming” may be a slight stretch. I found (on the rock near the falls) a single plant with a flower that wasn’t fully developed and open, but at least it had the spurs formed on it, so it was close. With that plant almost blooming, I was expecting the “usual suspect” early one on the bluff to be blooming, but not so.

Oh, probably the real find of this trip:

Luna Moth - Actias luna

Luna Moth – Actias luna

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2 thoughts on “The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 03/17/2017 – 30 Species Blooming

  1. Laura Chapin

    I did not see the blooming Bellwort you saw but I did see a couple of stalks coming up. The Robin’s Plantain was everywhere on the horse trail! Happy to see that the Hepatica, Bloodroot and Rue Anemone are still going strong! I saw four of the Bishop’s cap plants blooming. Very hard to get a good photo of the tiny blooms!

    1. Gerry Post author

      Thanks for the report, Laura. I’ve never been really satisfied with any Bishop’s Cap photos I’ve taken. The Bellwort is right on the creek bank where the front part of the boardwalk gets closest about halfway between the bridge and where the back part rejoins… Glad to here more Bellwort plants than I saw.


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