Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White Oaks Sinks

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.


  1. whoops!!!! the Large-flowered Trillium should be Trillium grandiflorum, NOT Trillium erectum... don't know how that one slipped past me.

  2. What a great place for a peaceful!

  3. I just want to lay down in that phlox and make a "Phlox Angel"- it looks so comfy...

  4. Great shots. It looks like you had a glorious day.

  5. I made your blog! Do you think people will start asking me for my autograph? Thank you for a wonderful hike on Sunday - we enjoyed the hike and the company!

  6. Looks like a great place. I am a new follower from Friday blog hop.

  7. What a wonderful post! I love nature walks and would love to have someone like your hubby to point out all the beauty around! It looks gorgeous too! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. I lived in Asheville for 20 years so miss the Smokey’s terribly. My husband helped with the design of Smokemont Campground close by Gatlinburg. I really enjoying coming across your blog tonight. Beautiful scenery


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