Wildflowers of Late Summer

Everybody knows about the spring ephemeral wildflowers that blanket the southern Appalachians from March to May, but you might not realize that an even showier scene is occurring right now. Actually, it’s been happening for more than a month. Back in early July, the summer showy wildflowers started coming out, with bee balm, coneflower, black-eyed Susan, Turk’s cap lily, and many others decorating the roadsides. Some of those are still going strong, but now we come to another favorite period of mine, the late summer showy wildflower season. 

Orange spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a common and colorful summer wildflower in western North Carolina.


Take a drive along most any country road in the mountains of North Carolina and you’ll see a profusion of purple ironweed, orange and yellow jewelweed, rusty purple Joe-Pye weed, and all sorts of yellow sunflower species.  It’s an unbelievable riot of color, one that will have you in a constant state of visual overload and wondering where to point your camera. Best locations are meadows and open roadsides along the backroads. Possibly the single best location is the northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. 

If you’re anywhere around western North Carolina during August, be sure to get out and take advantage of this wonderful photo opportunity. And when it’s over, it’s time for the fall wildflowers! I’ll let you know about that a little later on.


One Response to “Wildflowers of Late Summer”

  1. TomDills Says:

    Turk’s Cap are my favorites! I didn’t get to see any at their peak this year but saw lots of yellow composites a few weeks ago.

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