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Paul Sherman


Thumbnail images are licensed:

CC Attribution

Full-size images are licensed:

CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Many plants and animals appearing here are also available (usually downscaled versions) at my wpclipart site, where I release them into the Public Domain.

Smokey  Mountain  Flora

White Flowers


Sanguinaria canadensis

Hiking up Lower Higgins Creek in mid-March, Spring Beauties were beginning to bloom, some Wood Anemones, and I spotted these...

I spend a LOT of time in the woods since I moved to Tennessee a couple years ago, but this is the first I had seen of what turned out to be Bloodroot. Reading up on it, I found that individual plants only bloom for a couple days, so I could easily have missed it in previous years, especially as it is about done flowering even before Spring arrives.

Bloodroot gets its name from its roots, which when broken produce a blood-like sap, that even seems to coagulate. This was used by some native Americans as a medicinal and later claimed to be an anti-cancer agent... but the jury is still out on that being a possibility. What is clear is that the sap from the plant can destroy skin and tissue, so don"t try to make it some kind of home remedy.

Photographed 03/19/2012

White Trilliam


First of May, 2011, and I was on my favorite floral section of the Appalachian Trail -- Deep Gap, between Beauty Spot bald and Unaka Mountain. Just south of Unaka there is a hollow that runs Northeast, parallel to the prevailing winds that ends in a steep upgrade at Deep Gap, and due to this many seeds are dumped by updrafts right in this area.

I won't go into all the plants and flowers I've seen, but in early May the variety, beauty and sheer number of Trilliams I have found there is astounding. Of all the pictures I took I choose this very simple composition with soft beautiful light.

Spotted Wintergreen

Chimaphila maculata

aka Striped prince's pine,
it is often found growing among pines, as it likes acidic soil. Dark green, variagated leaves are appealing year-round, blossoms in mid-summer. Spreads via rhizomes as well as the seeds, which you can clearly see sticking to the petals on a damp day in the photograph.

The genus name is from the Greek cheima (winter) and philein (to love).

Speckled Wood Lily

Clintonia umbellulata

officially a White Clintonia (named after Dewitt Clinton, NY Governor and naturalist - I should also mention that Thoreau was as miffed about naming plant after politicians as I am...)

Ths is another shade-loving forest dweller that can tolerate acidic soils. Also tends to grow in colonies - which you can see by the surrounding leaves.

Leaves are edible and can be used raw or cooked, much more tender when young, have a cucumber-ish taste. Flowers give way to blue berries.

Photographed May 15, 2011 near Indian Grave Gap along the Appalachian Trail.

Oxeye Daisy

Chrysanthemum leucanthemum

Creeping Bush Clover

Lespedeza repens

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

Goodyera pubescens

They have white flowers on tall stalks -- but I missed them last year. I'll get them blooming later this summer, I promise!

In the meantime, I had a nice shot of some plants not in bloom.

Japanese Honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

Plantain-leaved Pussytoes

Antennaria plantaginifolia

Queen Annes lace

Daucus carota

Star Chickweed

Stellaria pubera

White Champion

Daucus carota

Wood Anemone

Anemone quinquefolia

A true forest dweller, Anemone thrives in rich soils and shade. It has sepals, not true petals. It is an early bloomer and is poisonous -- known in China as the "Flower of Death", and is used in funeral rites.

photographed 05/01/2011

Pushing through last seasons leaves...

The specimen at left was a more mature blossom, but taken much earlier in the season. The image was captured on the 6th of March (2012) along Lower Higgins Creek near Erwin, TN. The first flowers I spied in the woods this year!

Dutchman's Breeches

Dicentra cucullaria

I had noticed the plants before, but had not caught these flowering... Spotted trailside along Lower Higgins Creek in mid-March (although everything is blooming early this year.)

You can guess from sight that the Dutchman is related to the bleeding heart, although I found the interesting tidbit about this plant is that itis propogated by ants (called myrmecochory.) The seeds have an attached fruity part (elaiosome) that the ants take home and eat. Then the ants put the seeds underground in their refuse pile. So the seeds end up buried and fertilized.

Not the most elegant process, but wondrously effective :)

Photographed on 03/20/2012

Plant Sections
Raspberry, blueberry, Indian Strawberry, Wintergreen Berry...

Whitemouth Dayflower, Virginia Spiderwort...

Smooth Phlox, Purple Phacelia, Late Purple Aster...

Amanita, Turkey Tail, Dryads Saddle...


Tree Groundpine...

Trumpet Vine, Turks Cap Lily...

Red Turtlehead, Showy Evening Primrose...

Cardinal Flower, Fire Pink, Southern Red Trillium...

Mimosa, Redbud...

Star Chickweed, Creeping Bush Clover...

Coltsfoot, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Rattlesnake weed...

Related Sites

Tennessee Wildflowers
Kris Light has a wonderful site full of pictures and information. Her site has helped me ID several flowers.
TN Wildflowers

Appalachian Treks
Mark Peacock has some great pictures and info on trails around my area of Eastern Tennessee.
App. Treks

Hiking Bill
Sort of an online tour guide to S. Appalachian hiking trails, by someone who obviously loves to hike.
Hiking Bill

TN Wildflower Gallery
These pages on by Cheryl Hiers, who obviously does a lot of hiking and photography.
Wildflower Guide

Wildflower field guide. Just tons of wildflower photos, some really exceptional.
Flicr Flowers


Plastic Waste
Every piece of plastic ever made still exists...
Very Cool YouTube Video...