Catoctin Mountain Park


Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense, Asparagaceae)

Catoctin Mountain Park consists of more than 5,000 acres along Catoctin Mountain, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are the front range of the Appalachians. It’s in the Blue Ridge physiographic province (not the Piedmont where I usually hunt), so unsurprisingly I saw some different wildflowers when I went hiking in the Owen’s Creek area this past weekend. In general, plants were blooming about two weeks later than in the Piedmont. We saw:

  • golden alexanders
  • perfoliate bellwort
  • wood betony*
  • sweet cicely
  • hooked crowfoot
  • Indian cucumber root
  • flowering dogwood
  • common fleabane
  • wild geranium
  • wild ginger
  • false hellebore* (in bud)
  • jack-in-the-pulpit
  • mayapple
  • Canada mayflower*
  • miterwort
  • one-flower cancer root*
  • long-bracted orchid* (in bud)
  • showy orchis, including all-white form
  • golden ragwort
  • rue anemone
  • golden saxifrage*
  • clustered snakeroot
  • squaw root
  • nodding trillium*
  • several species of violet

the unmistakeable trunk of shagbark hickory (Carya ovata, Juglandaceae)

And there was a nice selection of non-flowering plants:

  • broad beech fern
  • christmas fern
  • cinnamon fern
  • hay-scented fern
  • horsetail
  • northern maidenhair fern
  • New York fern
  • rattlesnake fern
  • sensitive fern
  • silvery glade fern
  • intermediate wood fern
  • spinulose wood fern

northern maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum, Pteridaceae)

The ones marked with an asterisk were new to me, so it was a good day. Since I was with a group, though, I couldn’t concentrate on photography, so I just took snapshots, and none of them are any good. If it stops raining I might go back and try to get good pictures, and then I’ll post about these plants.



an all-white flowering showy orchis (Galearis spectabilis)

ps: A pedantic note: all the binomial (eg, Latin) names in this post should be italicized, but wordpress won’t let me do that with captions. I might have to stop doing captions for that reason.

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