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5 wildflowers blooming this spring

Learn how to identify flowers local to the Asheville area (plus, test your knowledge with our wildflower quiz).

AVLtoday_Yellow_Trout_Lily

Never again pass by this flower without knowing its name (Trout Lily).

Photo via Wikimedia Commons by treegrow

Curious exactly which beautiful blooms you’ve been seeing this spring? It’s time for Asheville Wildflowers 101, complete with a pop quiz to test your, shall we say, flower power.

Today’s content was put together with the help of Ali McGhee, 6AM City’s People Operations Manager (and former AVLtoday Editor). Ali and Tara Eschenroeder (Great Abiding Yoga) are leading a Plant Identification and Yoga Hike on Saturday, April 22 from 5:30-8 p.m. Sign up to expand your area plant knowledge even more.

Trout Lily | These yellow “nodding” flowers have petals bent backwards with stamens exposed. They love deciduous woodlands with plenty of moisture and need part shade. The leaves on this plant have similar markings to a brook trout — hence the name.

Bloodroot | Part of the poppy family, this flower features white petals surrounding a golden center. Its underground stem produces a red juice, historically used by Native Americans as dye. Before you go harvesting your own, note that the thickened roots of the plant are poisonous.

AVLtoday_Cardinal_Flower

Blooms on the Cardinal Flower have three drooping petals and two upper petals.

Photo by Will Parson and the Chesapeake Bay Program

Cardinal Flower | This flower is characterized by several red blooms clustered around the top of a tall stem. It depends on the hummingbird to pollinate as its long petal shape can be inconvenient for insects. It’s best to admire from afar, since the flower can suffer from overpicking.

Little Sweet Betsy | You might first spot this perennial by the camouflage-like pattern on its leaves, with maroon petals protruding from the center. From May through June, this plant yields berries that many small mammals will eat (but humans should not).

Self-Heal | Bountiful enough to pick, this flower has clusters of tiny purple and white blooms. It’s part of the mint family, and historically has broad medicinal uses — though more scientific research is needed to determine its benefits.

Think you got all that? Try your hand at our wildflower quiz.

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