Friday, June 8, 2018

Cedar Cliff with Gary Kaufman - June 2, 2018

The Cedar Cliff walk was a challenge - but well worth it for the diversity of rare and unusual plants around us.
Gary Kauffman’s overwhelming knowledge and enthusiasm kept us climbing and wanting to see more.  It was great to have Matt Bushman, our Nantahala National Forest botanist with us. He was doing a count of American Columbo.  Last time I asked, the count was more than 250.  It was amazing to see so many of this rare species in full bloom.
Thanks to Mary Polanski and Jerry Mason for the photos that say it better than words.  
And thanks to everyone for the donations.  We sent $75.00 to the NC Native Plant Society in Gary’s name.

Thanks to Jean for these images:

Thanks to Mary Polanski for these images:

And thanks to Jerry Mason for the following images:

Monday, May 28, 2018

Late Spring Herb Hike with Patricia Kritsyi Howell - May 24, 2018

The weather forecast threatened to do a repeat performance of last year and force a rain cancellation but retreated at the last minute allowing us to proceed on a wonderful hike at Black Rock Mountain State Park with Patricia Kritsyi Howell.  We made our way along the James E. Edmond Trail as Patricia pointed out various species of native plants and educated us about the medicinal and/or edible properties for many familiar and unfamiliar plants. She is a treasure trove of information and it's fascinating to hear her discuss the scientific, anecdotal and folklore associated with Southern Appalachian plants.

A partial list of the plants we viewed: Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum), Solomon's Plume (Maianthemum racemosum ), Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa), Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), Wild Yam Vine (Dioscorea villosa), Pink Lady Slipper (Cypripedium acaule),  Usnea lichen, Goatsbeard(Aruncus dioicus)' Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), Nettles, Galax, Bowman's Root (Gillenia trifoliata), Sassafras, Azalea Gall, Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria), Witch-hazel (Hamamelis), Wild Hydrangea (‎Hydrangea arborescens) , Heart's a Bustin(Euonymus americanus), Spiderwort (Tradescantia), Canada Violet (Viola canadensis), Smilax, Horsemint (Monarda), Monkshood,(Aconitum) Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum pubescens), Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

These photos were submitted by Alan Olansky and highlight a few of the plants we learned about.  Thank you Alan, for your contribution of these fine shots.
Hearts a Burstin 

Indian Cucumber Root 


Vasey's Trillium Pollinator's View
Bowman's Root 
Spider Wort

Wild Yam Dioscorea

The following are candid photos from the day taken by "the staff".  Please feel free to post yours in the comments if you wish or send them to us for posting.

Wild Yam Vine (Dioscorea villosa)

Solomon's Seal in background with Solomon's Plume in foreground

View Wolffork Valley - Source of the Little Tennessee River

Friday, May 11, 2018

Till Ridge with Dan Rawlins - April 26, 2018

After some challenges from the weather, Thursday turned out to be a perfect day.
Spring wildflowers were at their peak at this beautiful site which was new to many of us.  
Some of the many species we saw were Heart-leafed Golden Alexander, Catesby's Trillium, False Hellebore, Solomon Seal, Mayapple, Rattlesnake Fern, Showy Orchis, Yellow Mandarin, Wood Anemone, Tassel Rue, Foam Flower.  And of course Dan had a story or some interesting detail about each of them.  
The finale was masses of Trillium grandiflorum - breath taking!
Thanks to Dan for another wonderful trip - and for helping us discover this beautiful and rich spot. 
I vote we have an impromptu visit to Till Ridge in the summer!
David’s photos tell the story best.
(Note the Leucothoe shown in David’s photos was later identified by Don and Dan as L. recurva.)

Tons of  Trillium Grandiflorum

Bloodroot;  Sanguinaria canadensis

Blue Ridge Bittercress

Canada Violet;  Viola canadensis

Common Blue Violet; Viola sororia

Blue Violets

Ellen examines closely

Halberd leaved Violet; Viola hastata

Hispid Buttercup

Kathy researching

Large-flowered Trillium; Grandiflorum

Large-flowered Trillium

Leucothoe recurva

Dan teaching

Showy Orchis; Galearis spectabilis

The beginning of the hike

Wild Mustard

On the trail