Wildflowers 101: Three blue flowers

Story and images by Tom Harrington If you have an interest in wildflowers, perhaps you have noticed how many flowers are blue in color. The flowers we’ll examine today have small blue blooms. To start, did you know that blue-eyed grass is not a grass? It is related to the iris species. The plant is […]

Wildflowers 101: Creeping phlox and wild geranium

Please remember that picking plants is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Additionally, even some plants with traditional folk uses can have toxic properties if improperly prepared or used. Today I’ll discuss things “creeping” and “wild”—creeping phlox and wild geranium.  First, let’s look at creeping phlox. This plant grows up to 12 inches tall, […]

Wildflowers 101: Vasey’s trillium and purple wake robin

Story and images by Tom Harrington Some of the favorite wildflowers found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the trilliums, of which there are nine species that grow in the park. In this issue, let’s examine two trilliums whose blooms are often described as being maroon, red, or purple in color: Vasey’s trillium and purple […]

Wildflowers 101: Trillium

Painted trillium

My favorite trillium is the painted trillium. This plant grows from 8 to 12 inches tall and has a white bloom with a red blaze that circles the bloom near the base. April and May are the months in which this plant normally blooms. The painted trillium is not commonly found. It has been my […]