Many of our favorite hiking spots have been closed off, though technically the trails are not, but roads accessing them and parking lots are. Several weeks ago, just into this current crisis, I lamented that a favorite section of the Appalachian Trail bordered by trilliums might not be accessible, and sure enough it isn’t unless my wife and I should find the energy to hike ten miles in, then out. But, there is no prohibition against getting out into the forest, so we do, and though we encounter more hikers than in the past, a handful of other hikers every hour hardly qualifies as a crowd. We have no problem keeping our distance.
While I am quite happy to leisurely stroll through the garden, nearby mountains beckon for a more strenuous workout, and a bit of inspiration. So, forced to look elsewhere, my wife and I stumbled upon a trail with many more trilliums (uncountable millions to my eye), and an amazing assortment of spring blooms. Early spring is the prime season for flowering trees and ephemerals in local forests, before the woody shrubs and the tree canopy blocks much of the sunlight, and along an otherwise very ordinary stretch of the Appalachian Trail the forest is carpeted by an abundance of blooms to rival any garden.
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Any chance the spotted may apple can somehow be related to Spotty Dotty? (Either hybrid with native species or escapee?)
I suspect this is a natural variation of the native. My wife stands patiently as I examine variations in leaf forms and color that are abundant in this area with so many thousands.
Eastern and Midwestern wildflowers are so much more fun. There are a few trilliums here, and at least one is native as far East as Colorado, but none of them are much to look at here. They are prettier farther north. I believe that there are at least three species here. I know of only two. However, some insist that there is only one.
We hear that there are red trilliums out here somewhere, but we haven’t seen them. Still, it’s hard to be disappointed with a million pink and white trilliums.
One of the natives here is a red trillium, but it is not the same as the real ‘red trillium’. Nor is it as pretty. The flowers are quite small, and deteriorate as soon as they open. They are dark reddish brown.
Thanks for naming some of the plants we encountered on our memorial day hike at Lost Mountain trail.
We found a few bearcorns and they look interesting. have never seen one before.
However we did not find any Trilliums 😦
Any suggestions for trails with pretty spring flowers.
My wife and I have seen scattered areas of wildflowers along the Appalachian Trail, but nothing close to the abundance on the AT in the Thompson Wildlife Management Area which is just a few miles south of Sky Meadows. Trilliums and other spring ephemerals are past now, but this is fertile ground and I expect others through the spring.