Sunday had to have been the absolute most perfect day to take a wildflower hike in the Smokies: close to 80 degrees, blue skies, and an abundance of flowers. We went to White Oaks Sinks in the Smokies with some friends. My friend Diane really wants to appear on my blog, so here she is with her menfolk:
They are pretty much the nicest people you could ever meet, as well as perfect hiking companions. Our boys had to have gone at least twice the mileage the rest of us did, with all their side trips and bouncing.
We saw loads of wildflowers, including this Catesby's trillium:
And this showy orchis:
Here's a list of everything we saw:
Yellow Trillium – Trillium luteum
Catesby’s Trillium – Trillium catesbaei
Large-flowered Trillium – Trillium erectum
Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
Shooting Star – Dodecatheon meadia
Blue Phlox – Phlox divaricata
Showy Orchis – Galearis spectabilis
Foamflower – Tiarella cordifolia
Bishop’s Cap – Mitella diphylla
Woodland Stonecrop – Sedum ternatum
Rue Anemone – Thalictrum thalictroides
Long-spurred Violet – Viola rostrata
Trailing Arbutus – Epigea repens
Sharp-lobed Hepatica – Hepatica actutilobula
Wild Ginger – Asarum canadense
Little Brown Jug – Hexastylis arifolia
Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides
Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum
Spring Beauty – Claytonia virgina
Carolina Vetch – Vicia caroliniana
Pussytoes – Antennaria solitaria
Thanks to Dr. Hibiscus, my botanist husband, for that fantastic list!
For me, though, the absolute highlight of the hike was the magical world of the sinks, covered in a carpet of phlox.
No photos I can take can do it justice. It is simply magical—a place for fairies, for laying down one's head and dreaming sweet dreams. Imagine this little bit above magnified over and over: that's the beauty of White Oaks Sinks in April.