Friday, October 19, 2012

Black Rock Mountain Wildflower Hotspot

September 15th, 2012. We stopped by the spot on the highway through Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County, Georgia, where we had found Parnassia asarifolia, the Kidney-leaved Grass of Parnassus, last year. We found them growing in a shaded seep/ditch on North Germany Mountain Road.

Last year, the road side mowers had left a swath of vegetation beside the seep that made it easy to sit and photograph the flowers. Unfortunately, this year the mowers had cut much closer to the edge of the ditch. The plants were blooming in the ditch itself. It turned out that this is a hotspot for some interesting wildflowers.

Impatiens capensis (Jewelweed)
There were just a few plants. They weren’t thriving, probably because the area was shaded most of the day.

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Common Boneset)
Just a couple of plants. Again, they would probably have preferred more sunlight.



A lone Pennsylvania Soldier Beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) enjoying a morning snack on the Common Boneset

Rudbeckia lacinata (Blue Ridge Cutleaf Coneflower)



Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead)

Chelone cuthbertii (Cuthbert's Turtlehead)
Originally I thought this might be Chelone lyonii (Pink Turtlehead) but have re-evaluated the photos and believe this is Chelone cuthbertii (Cuthbert's Turtlehead) which is documented to occur in north Georgia counties. 

This plant was growing on the far side of the ditch. I used snake tongs to grab the stem and gently pull it back over to where I was standing to photograph the flowers up close.

This is an interesting one-stop shopping spot for several unusual wildflowers.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
Southestern Flora
Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:
- Rudbeckia laciniata (Blue Ridge Cutleaf Coneflower)
Alan Cressler  Chelone cuthbertii
Missouri Plants: Rudbeckia lacinata 
United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:
- Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead)

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