Monday, April 8, 2013

Early Spring Wildflowers At Boggs Creek Recreation Area

March 30th, 2013. From Dockery Lake, we headed over to Boggs Creek Recreation Area, also in the Chestatee Wildlife Management in Lumpkin County. In contrast to Dockery Lake, we found several wildflowers in bloom in addition to evidence of more to come. 

Boggs Creek RA is intended to be a campground but has been closed to camping and open only for day use since April 2011 when tornados and severe thunderstorms destroyed much of the developed recreation area (see Forest Service photographs here).

The main road runs along the creek but…

is closed in the area where the tree damage occurred.

On an embankment to the left, not far from the entrance, we found an impressive patch of wild ginger (Hexastylis sp.?). We’ll be looking for flowers in the next few months.

The first wildflower we found was Viola hastata, the Halberleaf Yellow Violet which is found in many counties in the Georgia Piedmont. These plants were growing in the area between the road and the creek where the road veered away from the creek a little.

Some plants had plain green leaves while the leaves on others were distinctly patterned.

A closer view of one of the flowers. This was the first time we’ve seen Viola hastata.

Nearby we found a few Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry) plants which still had berries from last year, and...

fern-like plants.

Further along the road, small white flowers on bare embankments caught our attention.

These were Antennaria solitaria (Singlehead Pussytoes) with…

particularly nice blooms. This species is found in counties in the Piedmont in Georgia.

On the west side of the road, we found…

A purple viola that may be Viola walteri (Prostrate Blue Violet) although it didn’t show the characteristic leave pattern I’d expect for this species. Then we found...

a fairly large are of Trillium cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy) including this one.

An individual plant in flower, and a…

Close-up of an individual flower.

As we were wandering among the T. cuneatum plants, we noticed a…

Small patch of trillium plants with distinctly different leaves from those of T. cuneatum. These plants were limited to an area not much larger than 10 feet squared.

An individual plant, and…

A single bud. I’m betting that this trillium will have a white bloom. Time will tell.

The rangers at Dockery Lake were right about the trilliums blooming at Boggs Creek. I wonder if they knew there were two species in this location. We’ll be be going back in a couple of weeks to see if these blooms have opened. Stay tuned…
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification Resources:
Southeastern Flora

Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:
United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: 
- Viola walteri (Prostrate Blue Violet)
- Trillium cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy)

Related post: 

No comments: