By Dr. Annkatrin Rose, Department of Biology, Appalachian State University
The number and variety of plants blooming in the woods keeps increasing with every day at this time of the year. However, we're still some time away from peak wildflower bloom in the Boone area. The colder days last weekend have caused a little bit of a delay, but with the warmer weather now and more spring rains coming up to water the plants, we should be seeing spring growth speeding up. The best areas to look for wildflowers are still the lower elevations at this point with not much blooming yet higher up in the mountains.
In addition to the spring beauties, bloodroots and toothworts blooming, I found more violets and star chickweed at the Nature Preserve on campus. Toadshades are blooming at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens with other trilliums sending up their foliage, and Dutchman's breeches along the Profile Trail on Grandfather Mountain are showing flower buds. Trout lily leaves are coming up it seems everywhere and I've heard reports of the first flowers. Fraser's sedge, Pennsylvania sedge, and seersucker sedge are all in bloom right now, and so are many of the wind-pollinated trees as anyone with spring allergies can probably tell you.
If you would like to get out and see the first bloomers with a guide, there are again several wildflower walks offered this weekend at Grandfather Mountain State Park. Next weekend (April 22) the Biology Department will host a guided tour of the ASU Nature Preserve on campus following Open House. By that time, there should be plenty of wildflowers to see along the trail. If you have any questions about this event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures: Round-leaved Yellow Violet (Viola rotundifolia), Star Chickweed (Stellaria pubera) and Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) in bloom this week at the ASU Nature Preserve