|Dwarf Crested Iris|
|Sweet White Trillium|
|Pink Lady's Slipper|
You do not have to attend the pilgrimage in order to enjoy the wildflowers though. Beginning usually mid to late March, wildflowers will most-assuredly make their appearance. Here are some wonderful trails and reference books for you to check out if you want to simply explore on your own:
My Favorite Wildflower Trails:
- Chestnut Top Trail
- Porter's Creek Trail
- Cove Mountain Hardwood Trail (at Chimney's Picnic Area)
- Bud Ogle Nature Trail
- White Oak Sinks (not really ON a trail, but easy to find)
- almost any trail in the Smokies has some wildflowers on it
Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers is organized by the season or time you will find the flowers in our mountains. So, from front to back, you can see the progression of the bloom that will take place in the Smokies from early spring to fall. This book provides pictures and descriptions as well as locations where you can expect to find particular flowers and the approximate dates of their appearance.
I carry both of these books with me when I go looking for wildflowers. Each is useful in its own way and not all flowers you will find on the trails are in either book. The diversity which we enjoy in the Smokies is just too vast to be housed in any volume small enough to carry on the trails.
Happy wildflowering (or for now simply dreaming of wildflowering!) Just remember, Spring WILL Come! And when it does, you'll find me enjoying the ephemeral beauty of the tiny jewels in which Nature clothes the Smokies.