Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Piedmont NWR: A Wildflower Miscellany

March 24th, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Oak – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

We made our way from the bridge at Little Falling Creek down to the Round Oak – Juliette Road and back up to Allison Creek.

Rhododendron canescens (Mountain Azalea, Piedmont Azalea, Southern Pinxterbloom Azalea). On the way down to the Round Oak – Juliette Road, we spotted a rhododendron bush setting back from the road but it was the only one we’d seen here. I walked over to take a closer look.

A bloom up close. This was the only bloom that was still intact; most had fallen apart. In spite of the fact that most blooms had fallen apart, the fragrance was almost overwhelming.

At Allison Creek, we found a number of wildflowers blooming.

Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Needle-tip blue-eyed-grass). This is one of my favorite wildflowers. Just a few were blooming.

Trillium cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy, Purple Toadshade). We’d seen a number of plants in the woods here on our previous visit and hoped that many would bloom. However, only a few had blooms.

A close-up view.

In the woods, we were surprised to find a tell-tale leaves and vine of a Matelea species. So far we’ve only seen Matelea gonocarpa blooming in the Piedmont NWR. It will be interesting to see if this is M. gonocarpa or another species.

Oxalis rubra (Purple Woodsorrel). One of the prettier woodsorrels.

Oxalis violacea (Violet woodsorrel). At least, I think it is. I’ve never seen it bloom.

Myosotis macrosperma (Largeseeded Forget-me-not). The flowers and leaves. This is the first time I’ve seen this wildflower. This wildflower is native to North America and grows from Ontario, Canada to Texas. In Georgia, it’s been documented in several counties, not including Jones County.

Chaerophyllum procumbens (Spreading chervil) was growing along the grass verge.

Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium). As we drove away from Allison Creek, we found wild geraniums blooming along the edge of the woods above the creek.

Close up views of the leaves and bloom

The area around this Allison Creek ford continues to be an interesting area for wildflowers. I’m sure we’ll be back.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Southeastern Flora:

- Rhododendron canescens (Mountain Azalea)

- Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Needle-tip blue-eyed-grass)

- Trillium cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy)

- Myosotis macrosperma (Largeseeded Forget-me-not)

Oxalis rubra (Purple woodsorrel)
- Oxalis violacea (Violet Wood-sorrel)

- Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium)

Missouri Plants
- Chaerophyllum procumbens (Spreading chervil)

Related Posts
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

- Jasper County, Georgia: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

- Piedmont NWR: Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida)

- Piedmont NWR: Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa)

No comments: