There are over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants that grow in Great Smoky Mountains, more than in any other American national park. These are just a few of the summer-blooming wildflowers and flowering shrubs commonly seen in the park during the summer months:
Wood Sorrel - Oxalis montana
Nodding Lady's Tresses- Spiranthes cernua
Maryland Golden Aster- Chrysopsis mariana
Three-Lobed Black Eyed Susan- Rudbeckoia triloba
Three- lobed black eyed susans have a hairy stem with leaves that are variable in size and shape. Around the base of each flower are bracts that are narrow, green and leafy. Each flower has outer petals that are yellow or orange around a small disk of dark purple flowers. Three-lobed black eyed susans are the only native black eyed susan in the Smokies and they are commonly seen throughout the park.
Pale Jewelweed (Touch-Me-Nots) - Impatiens pallida
Orange Jewelweed (Spotted Touch-Me-Not) - Impatiens capensis
Turk's Cap Lily- Lilium superbum
Turk's cap lily have petals and sepals turned sharply back on themselves with green streaks appearing at the base of each floral segment. Turk's cap lily is commonly seen over a wide range of the park.
Butterfly-Weed- Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly-weed has clusters of deep orange blossoms covering the plant. Each individual flower has five drooping petals with a crown above. It is also sometimes called chigger-weed. Butterfly-weed can be seen in the mid to low elevations of the park.
Cardinal Flower- Lobelia cardinalis
Cardinal flower are a blossom of bright red flowers on short stalks. The flowers are arranged in a loose spike and have veiny, toothed leaves arranged alternatly along the stem. Cardinal flowers are frequently seen in the mid to low elevations of the park.
Pink Turtlehead- Chelone lyonii
Pink turtlehead have five petals that have fused together to create a two-lipped tube with yellow hairs on the lower three-petal lip. The leaves have obvious stems with rounded bases. Pink turtlehead is frequently seen over a wide range of the park.
New York Ironweed- Veronia noveboracensis
New York ironweed is a tall flower that has a dozen or more purple flower heads in a bunched cluster. At the base of each head are green-leafy brackets. New York ironweed is seen in the lower-elevations of the park.
Joe-Pye-Weed- Eupatorium purpureum
Joe-Pye-weed is a tall wildflower with leaves in whorls of 3 and 4. It has huge, rounded clusters of pink and purple flowers atop the stem.
Southern Harebell- Campanula divaricate
Flame Azalea - Rhododendron calendulaceum
Purple Rhododendron- Rhododendron catawbiense
Wildflowers of the Smokies
Last updated: July 14, 2015