05/05/2009 The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain – Season OverPosted on May 6th, 2009 No comments
I’m calling an official close to the spring wildflower season at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, from the USWildflowers.com perspective. While there are still certainly many wildflowers blooming, the image of the Jack in the Pulpit is symbolic of the status of the spring wildflowers. It is moving into the summer season – no remaining trillium blossoms, only a rare scattering of geranium and phacelia, and even the Canada violets are almost entirely gone. The wild hydrangea blossom buds are starting to form, and the flying gnats are becoming a problem.
While I will still make occasional treks down to The Pocket, future reports will be intermittent (maybe until next spring!) and I hope to bring reports from wildflower expeditions into other areas of the region starting, Lord willing, with a report from Big Frog Mountain next week.
- Beardtongue: Gray beardtongue is blooming along the road on the way in to The Pocket.
- Bladdernut: The blossoms are gone, but the bladders are expanded.
- Blue-eyed grass: I saw none on this trip; was a bit surprised they were gone so quickly.
- Dwarf Cinquefoil: This is blooming along the trail above the falls.
- Jack in the Pulpit: Still several nice specimens around, but most are starting to fade.
- Honeysuckle: Japanese honeysuckle is beautiful right now.
- Milkweed: The four-leaf milkweed is beginning its bloom.
- Parsnip: Hairyjoint meadow parsnip has been blooming along the trail for several weeks; I had left it off the list.
- Pink azalea: I haven’t made it back to the area where these were blooming to check on the status.
- Purple phacelia: A few very tiny blossoms could be found here and there.
- Sage: Lyre-leaf sage is blooming all over Walker County, including near the entrance to The Pocket parking area.
- Smooth Phlox: There is a colony of this beautiful plant at peak bloom along the driveway down to the boardwalk.
The Pocket Bladdernut, Honeysuckle, Jack in the Pulpit, Milkweed, Parsnip, Phlox, Sage, Viburnum, Waterleaf
- Solomon’s seal: Peak for the open bells.
- Stonecrop: Still abundant, but quality of bloom in decline.
- Squawroot: Most flowers are brown.
- Sweet Cicely: I found only a couple remaining in bloom.
- Viburnum: Maple-leaf viburnum is blooming in the forest next to the road down to the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail, and along the horse trail up near the top of the falls.
- Waterleaf: This nice cousin of the purple phacelia has started its bloom.
- Wild geranium: I saw one single blossom remaining.
- Wood Betony: Gone to seed.
- Wood (celandine) poppy: No blossoms; the seeds are starting their split and upward curl.
- Wood Sorrel: I didn’t notice violet wood sorrel, but the slender yellow wood sorrel is blooming everywhere in Walker County.
- Violets: I saw only a few small Canada violets remaining.
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