Southern Blue Ridge – Late Spring Blooms

Rhododendron vaseyi

Rhododendron vaseyi

There are a lot of varieties of rhododendron along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but at the southern end, vaseyi is pretty much it. There’s a profusion of these growing along the roadway in various stages of blooming, depending, I think, upon the elevation.

Rhododendron vaseyi

Rhododendron vaseyi

Identifying this thing was a pain. Apparently, it’s entire natural range is within Western North Carolina. I found lots of photos of it captioned “flowers” or “flowering shrub.” I finally found a bloom schedule on the Blue Ridge Parkway Association’s website (http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=77) and worked backwards. This site is a good resource for anyone planning a drive along the Parkway.

The groundsel is in full bloom and forms carpets of bright yellow in open areas along the roadway.

Golden groundsel

Golden groundsel

The tiny white flowers of the hawthorn shrubs are easy to miss.

Copenhagen hawthorn

Copenhagen hawthorn

They grow among the rhododendrons and you only notice them when you’re up close.

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6 Comments

Filed under Nature

6 responses to “Southern Blue Ridge – Late Spring Blooms

  1. I would love to have rhododendrons but it’s too hot here, they’re such a magnificent flower.

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    • Ann

      I don’t like winter much so I have to remind myself, as I put on two sweaters and my thick wool socks, that some of my favorite flora need it!

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  2. Wonderful photos. My favorite is the first one.

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  3. Beautiful. Great colors — it must feel like driving through a painting.

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    • Ann

      Yes – and it changes with the seasons. The distant views are best in the fall, but for close-ups, spring and summer are best.

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