Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wildflowers of the Smokies


The Smokies have many wildflowers and they are amazing in their diversity. The Park is home to close to 1,500 kinds of flowering plants according to the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association--including over 300 rare plants. The reason for this large number of species is due to several factors, including vast differences in altitude and temperature and lots of rain (averaging 90 inches per year), and the preservation efforts pursued by the National Park Service. If you want to learn more about these beauties we have provided a list below for your enjoyment.

The National Park Service offers some guides to enjoying the many different species of wildflower, we have listed a view below:

Alphabetical Index of Wildflowers http://www.smokiesguide.com/wildflowers/alphabetical.html


Quite Walkways
http://www.smokiesguide.com/wildflowers/walkways.html


Driving Tours
http://www.smokiesguide.com/wildflowers/drives.html


NOTE: It is illegal to pick or dig wildflowers in Park. Poachers are prosecuted because they have been responsible for the decline of certain species over the years. It should be understood that most of these wildflowers don't survive in your home garden because the habitat conditions can't be duplicated.


Another great source with beautiful pics and ease to distinguish wildflowers of the Smokies is http://www.knoxville-tn.com/flowers.html Very informative and worth the visit to this site just for the pics alone.

The rare tall larkspur, grows to heights of 2 to 6 feet, has fewer lobes in the leaves and blooms in the summer. This plant bluish purple flowers with 5 petals, the upper sepal extending backwards into an upright spur. The 4 petals are very small, with 2 of them extending into the spur formed by the sepals. The leaves are mostly basal, palmate, and divided into 5 to 7 irregular segments. This flower can be found in rich woods throughout in late March to early May.



Another site we have come across that offers a wealth of info, more wildflower walks, threat to wildflowers, a book you can order to take along with you during your wildflower explorations and so much more info about the park is at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/wildflowers.htm .














If you want to keep up with the latest wildflower reports you can visit http://www.thegreatsmokymountains.org/wildflowers_and_trees


If you love flowers and the Smokies during the Spring of the year, this is an adventure worth taking your family on. Reserve your reservations with us at the Beary Blessed Cabin only about 10 minutes from the parkway and then order the wildflower book at http://www.smokiesstore.org/browse.cfm/4.113.htm


Plan to take one day and fill it with studying these delicate beautiful flowers and exploring the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Don't forget your blanket and to pack a picnic lunch and stop to relax and take in Gods creation.

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