Report On Spring Ephemerals

Spring Ephemerals I Anticipated Observing

In my March 5th post, I provided information about spring ephemerals, the early wildflowers which bloom before trees leaf out. I anticipated that in mid-April to early May, I would observe bloodroot, bluet, round lobed hepatica, spring beauty, and trout lily, as well as trillium, blue cohosh, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and rue anemone.

Spring Ephemerals I Actually Saw

Bloodroot- I initially saw scores of bloodroot leaves, already unfurled. I assumed they had not yet flowered. Finally I realized that the flowering stem had already flowered and fruited. With careful looking, I saw flowers on a few occasions.

Bluet-This flower did not disappoint. I saw carpets of bluet.

Round-lobed hepatica- This flower was last bloom and fruit, but I found it’s leaves a few times.

Spring beauty- I rarely saw this flower, which was surprising.

Trout lily- I observed trout lily leaves frequently and the flowers less often.


Trillium-I saw large white trillium, a yellow variety,  a pink variety, wake robin, painted trillium, red trillium, and bashful trillium.

Blue cohosh-I saw several times, but not as often as I expected.

Jack-in-the-pulpit-I saw several times but not as often as expected.

Other Early Season Flowers

One reader commented to my March post that I would see chickweed. Yes, the woods were carpeted with them.

I saw three types of Lilies-White Clintonia frequently seen; Bluebead Lily (yellow flower) rarely seen; and European wild lily of the valley frequently seen.

I saw three kinds of orchids: pink lady’s slipper, yellow lady’s slipper, and showy orchis.

Other flowers I frequently observed blooming included dwarf crested iris, pictured at the top of the post, mayapple, Canada lousewort, Canada mayflower, Solomon’s plume, Solomon’s seal, foam flower, various violets, Canada lousewort, toothwort, cucumber root, stonecrop sedum, early saxifrage, pink lady’s slipper, wild geranium, and the list goes on.

The Summer Flowers Are Blooming

Mountain Laurel has been in bloom for quite a while, as well as flame azalea. Catawba rhododendron is intermittently in bloom.

Two beautiful summer flowers are fire pink and Bowman’s root. There are so many others!

Trail Update

The haze from the wildfires in Canada drifted to the area south Pearisburg, VA, a couple of days ago. After a rainy night, I first assumed I was simply seeing early morning fog. Then I realized the gray was from the wildfires. So far, it has not affected the air quality much. I hope the fires are contained soon.

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Comments 7

  • Paul Erlbaum : Jun 10th

    Hi Phyllis!

    Yesterday I visited with Eve (…I still say Karen in my head…) who passed along a link to your blog. I knew you were planning this AT adventure, but I did not know you had started.

    Your blog is a gift! Big big thanks for sharing your thoughts & observations! And blessings on all those trail angels…May many more find you.

    A hug from East Montpelier, Paul (and Rachael by proxy)

  • YeeHa of BeeChHill : Jun 10th

    Hey GMG! I enjoyed reading this recent post and seeing your great photos – so I went back to read previous posts. ALL delightful, especially your description of the Roan Highlands and later of the wild ponies in the Grayson Highlands. I could almost hear the whinnies! I hope your knees are behaving and will be ready for Virginia’s Triple Crown. BeeChHill – our B&B/hostel – is just 200 easy paces from the AT, a mile+ north of Daleville, VA, and close to the 1/3 Way marker. Please stop by for some refreshment, or a night. Happy walking til then!

    • GMG (green mountain girl) : Jun 13th

      Thanks so much Paul (and Rachael)! Glad you and Eve continue to work together.

    • GMG (green mountain girl) : Jun 13th

      Thanks do much Yeeha. I will definitely stay by, if not stay a night!

  • NYC Steven : Jun 11th

    He who shall not be named shared your trek link. You sure have seen a lot of flowers, while I have been eating Thai food, Indian food, pizza, felafel, etc. I am so happy for you to have gotten away – at the Bob Dylan conference we attended last week in Tulsa, there was a a distinguished legal scholar keynote speaker, Cass Sunstein who spoke of Dylan and Dishabituation. I must say you have broken new ground in the field of dishabituation! carry on!

    • GMG (green mountain girl) : Jun 13th

      Steven, you sure made me chuckle. I will have to look up dishabitustion.

  • William Carson : Jun 19th

    I loved your observations and identification of the wildflowers along the AT. Your photos are perfect. I am with you in heart and spirit on the trail. Keep us posted as you continue.


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