It is springtime in Georgia and here are some flowers blooming now in the northeast Georgia mountains. Yesterday, on a small hike at Smithgall Woods near Helen, GA, we spotted quite a few Pink Lady’s Slippers in the woods.
These flowers are members of the Orchid Family and are considered rare for the area. This showy flower has a large petal pouch (approximately 2 ½ inches) resembling a slipper that grows on a single stem from basal leaves. Trillium are also starting to bloom. The deep red Vasey’s Trillium and the White Erect Trillium are members of the Lily Family and all have 3 leaves, 3 petals, and 3 sepals. They are sometimes hard to spot as the blossoms usually face downwards. Tiny Bluets usually grow in large patches and grow to only 3 to 5 inches tall. They look similar to Forget-Me-Nots but have only 4 petals. An unusual plant is the Indian-pipe. It is white as it contains no chlorophyll and lives off the roots of other plants. A wildflower to certainly draw attention is the Fire Pink with its brilliant 5, split-petalled blossoms. This member of the Pink Family begins blooming in April at lower elevations and blooms on through June at higher elevations. There are similar species found in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains like the Fairy Slipper and Pine Drops and many are included wildflowers in our Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Field Guide. This pocket-sized guide gives, common, scientific, and family names of over 270 wildflowers plus a description, habitat, life zone and flowering time. This award-winning book is available at www.highcountryartworks.com and on Amazon.