September 30 – October 1, 2011. We went up to Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County, Georgia, to look for Parnassia asarifolia, the Kidney-leaved Grass of Parnassus, one of the many, many flowers on my bucket list. While we were looking for ‘The Grass.’ We found a lot of wildflowers. Since many of these are new to me, I’m making by best guess at their identities. Any corrections will be gratefully received.
Our best wildflower viewing was along North Germany Road. Many were growing along the verge of the road – where the mowers had missed spots; others were growing on the north-facing embankments along the road.
The first lobelia we saw. I think it’s Lobelia puberula (Downy Lobelia). It was a short plant compared with…
...the second lobelia we saw which was much taller and striking in that the flowers were in a cluster at the top of the stem. I’m not sure which species this is.
This is a Polygala species – Polygala curtissii (Curtiss' Milkwort) or Polygala sanguinea (Purple Milkwort). I believe it’s Polygala curtissii.
Asters were growing everywhere. This is one of the larger Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster) plants we saw.
This isn’t a flower. It’s Lycopodium digitatum (Fan Cluboss) also known as Ground Pine or Running Cedar. We found individual plants in several locations and a couple of large. This was the larger of two areas where we found the moss starting to fruit.
One of the most unusual finds. I’ve never seen a gentian before. I believe this is Gentiana austromontana, the Appalachian Gentian. We found a small patch on a north-facing embankment along the road.
A Phlox species; I'm not sure which species this is. Almost finished blooming for the year.
Another Aster. Symphyotrichum cordifolium (Common Blue Wood Aster).
Oxypolis rigidior (Stiff Cowbane) almost went unnoticed.
Prenanthes altissima (Tall Rattlesnake-root) seemed to grow everywhere and was an unexpected find. It’s more delicate than…
… its lowland sibling, Prenanthes serpentaria (Cankerweed)
Polygonum caespitosum (Bristled Knotweed)
Could this be Bidens pilosa (Hairy Beggarticks)? Just a few very small flowers growing with the Bristled Knotweed.
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover). We found just a few plants. This is one of my favorite Trifolium species with its delicate pink color and deeper pink veining.
We saw the occasional Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox-eye Daisy) flowers making their last stand for the year and some Chelone lyonii (Pink Turtlehead) too inaccessible to photograph. All in all, a great haul for an area that didn’t seem to promise too much at first glance.
And next, to the main reason for our visit: Parnassia asarifolia, the Kidneyleaf Grass of Parnassus…
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- Black Rock Mountain State Park: download a park map here
- Black Rock Mountain State Park, Rabun County, Georgia