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Old May 30, 2016, 6:26 PM   #1
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Default May Flowers

After a dry early spring here in NE Tennessee, May brought the welcome relief of plenty of showers. And of course, this brought out plenty of late-spring flowers. Here are a few samples…

Dwarf Crested Iris is our most common small native iris, and frequents rich damp woods (these were at Rocky Fork).
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:26 PM   #2
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Here's their much less common relative - Vernal Iris. Iris verna thrives in rich old, but much drier forests. Here are some from up at the Ball Ground.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:27 PM   #3
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We've seen plenty of Trout Lily this spring - a true lily named for the speckled (like a trout) leaves. Here's a big patch from Rocky Fork, and one "looking down" on a Fringed Phacelia at Hampton creek Cove.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:28 PM   #4
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How about some Trilliums! Always three-parted, always in the rich forests, and full of variety…The taxonomy of trilliums is under revision, and my skills at trillium ID are somewhat lacking. So I will just post the photos without species names…
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:29 PM   #5
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If you know the garden flower called Lily of the Valley, you will certainly recognize its native cousin - American Lily of the Valley. Same strong sweet smell, almost identical flowers, but never grows in huge dense patches.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:30 PM   #6
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Unlike our native Bluets, that usually grow in dense patches.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:31 PM   #7
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Now for some rhododendrons. Rhododendron means "rose tree," and includes the shrubs we call azalea as well. Here's a little Pinxter Azalea from the home park.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:32 PM   #8
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And here's some Catawba Rhododendron from Whitehouse Rocks. These will be blooming in amazing abundance at Roan Mountain soon.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:33 PM   #9
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Here's catawba's little cousin - Piedmont Rhododendron. Comes in both white and pink/purple, and usually blooms earlier than the bigger species.
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Old May 30, 2016, 6:34 PM   #10
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Up a bit higher and drier, the Mountain Laurel is starting to bloom. I think the buds are just as pretty as the open flowers.
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