Marie McAden



Upstate wildflowers full of showy blooms

Posted 5/4/2011 3:43:00 PM

It’s that time of year again in the Upcountry when the wildflowers go, well, wild. They’re everywhere — on the side of the road, at river’s edge, in the woods — displaying their glorious spring colors like haute couture.

Check out the photos of some of the perennials we found in full bloom while hiking in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area recently. It was like wildflowers on parade, only we were the ones marching along the trails in Jones Gap State Park.

The light pink Carolina Rhododendron blossoms and white dogwood flowers are especially spectacular against the backdrop of a vibrant green forest. But my personal favorites are the violets that line the moist woodland trails near Falls Creek.

And the floral fashion show is just beginning. In just a week or two, the short-leaf variety of rhododendron will start blooming at higher elevations like Caesars Head. The large-leaf variety will go to town mid-May at lower elevations (1,000 feet) and late June at higher elevations (3,000 feet).

With the cool spring temperatures and the showcase of botanicals, it’s the perfect time to head upstate and explore South Carolina’s great outdoors.