If you’ve recently taken a roadtrip to East Tennessee, then chances are, one of the most spectacular things that you witnessed on your journey were all of the beautiful wildflowers growing in the region.
Wildflowers are considered to be ubiquitous in the region, and can be found growing on large patches of grassland, in meadows, fields, and marshes.
The only thing however, is that there are so many flowers growing in this region, that it can feel pretty much impossible to identify them! Thankfully, that’s where we come in.
Below, we’ve compiled this handy guide that takes you through some of the most common wildflowers found in the East Tennessee region.
We’ll provide a little bit of background on each of these different varieties, as well as telling you when you’re most likely to see them in bloom. You can refer back to this guide in future, to help you on your identification journey.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
The first common East Tennessee flower that we’re going to be taking a look at is the Chicory flower. Most commonly, you’ll find that this flower is either blue or purplish in terms of color.
In terms of life cycle, they have a perennial life cycle, which means that they bloom during the spring and summer seasons.
Look out for this flower on roadsides, or growing in large, open fields. If you come across this flower, we’d actually recommend that you pick it and take it home to eat.
That’s right! This flower isn’t just pretty to look at, but it’s also packed with nutrients. The leaves in particular are full of vitamins and minerals. We’d recommend cooking them slightly before serving, as they do tend to have a little bit of a bitter taste.
Some people will even cook the roots themselves, which are also super nutritious and healthy. The flower heads themselves make pretty garnishes for dishes such as salads.
2. Common Blue Violet
The next flower that we’re going to be taking a closer look at is the Common Blue Violet. Despite its namesake, this flower is often more purplish in terms of color, which can be deceptive when you’re trying to identify it.
It’s an incredibly beautiful flower, and has a very delicate, cone shaped appearance. But, despite its pretty exterior, many people who are natives to the East Tennessee region consider this flower to be a big pest.
This is because it reproduces by shooting seeds out of the opening, and these can actually reach very far. The trouble with this is that they reproduce super quickly, and if you find them growing in your garden, they can quickly take over large patches.
If you find this one growing in your garden, however, we wouldn’t recommend that you destroy it. Instead, transfer it to a different patch of land where it won’t be a burden to you anymore.
The reason why we urge you to do this, is because it’s actually really good for surrounding wildlife. It attracts caterpillars, butterflies, bees, and even turkeys.
3. Forget Me Not
Chances are that most of you reading this list have already come across the Forget Me Not Flower. It has an incredibly delicate appearance, with the flower petals being incredibly small, with a yellow center amongst the blue.
Despite being delicate on the surface, these are actually considered to be a pest in the region, as they grow very quickly.
They grow in areas with full and partial sun, and you’ll find them in full bloom during the summertime. It’s known sometimes as a ‘scorpion weed’, and the reason is because their stems have a coil-like appearance that looks like a scorpion tail.
Some of you reading this list may believe that they’re called ‘Forget Me Not’, because they have a pretty appearance that you’re not likely to forget.
But, this actually isn’t true. For those who have had the misfortune of smelling the Forget Me Not flower, you’ll know that it has an incredibly unpleasant odor, that you won’t forget anytime soon.
4. Common Burdock
Chances are that if you’ve been in the East Tennessee area, that you’ve come across a flower called the Common Burdock. They have a biennial life cycle, which means that these flowers bloom all the way through to the latter portion of fall.
You will find this in prairies, open fields, and generally in very dry and sunny areas. They have flowers which are a rich purple in terms of color, and their stems are incredibly coarse and long. They sprout out in large, bush-like patches.
The most interesting thing about this flower is that its stems are actually super sticky. Chances are that if you’ve approached this flower before, that you’ve noticed them getting stuck to your clothing.
The reason why they have a velcro-like quality is because they stick to transportable objects, such as animals, in order to ensure their survival. The animal transports the flower on their bodies, allowing it to grow in new regions.
5. Creeping Charlie
Some of you unfamiliar with this flower called the Creeping Charlie, then you probably think that it’s a super delicate flower based on its appearance alone. But, this flower is actually considered to be one of the most common pests in the entirety of the East Tennessee region.
As well as growing widely in forests, this one also tends to grow ubiquitous in people’s gardens. The reason why this can be so problematic is because it’s very hard to get rid of. It not only grows at an incredibly fast rate, but it is also really hard to uproot.
You’ll have to call in a professional if you have Creeping Charlie growing in your garden, as it’s almost impossible to get rid of by simply using your hands or garden scissors.
6. Purple Coneflower
Another flower you might have noticed in the East Tennessee area is the Purple Coneflower. This looks very much like a daisy in terms of shape and appearance, save for the flower petals which are typically a pinkish-purple in terms of color.
You can find this one blooming all through spring and summer time, and it’s super hardy. This is why we’d recommend that novice gardeners try growing this flower in their own gardens, as it’s super draught resistant.
The only thing that can be tricky to deal with in terms of this flower is that wildlife love eating the leaves, so you may receive a few new visitors!
In spite of this, they’re really beneficial to the environment, and attract lots of different species of bees, as well as hummingbirds.
7. Heal All
This common flower is found all over the East Tennessee region, and loves living in forests and areas with lots of grass. The reason why this purple bud has its name is because it was used previously in traditional Chinese medicine centuries ago.
The flowers and stems can be boiled down into a soup, which was previously used by individuals to treat conditions associated with inflammation. Some of these include dermatitis, red eyes, and skin boils. This one attracts a lot of wildlife, including bees and butterflies.
8. Common Milkweed
If you’ve witnessed the Common Milkweed before, then you’ve probably noticed that it varies in terms of color between a baby pink, and whitish color. It has a perennial life cycle, and so it blooms all throughout the spring and summer months.
If you manage to spot this flower, then we’d recommend that you go ahead and smell the blooms, as they’re known for having a very fragrant odor. Over 500 species of wildlife depend on this flower, so it’s also incredibly important for the environment.
If you’re planning on growing it in your garden however, we recommend that you proceed with caution, as it can overtake some of the other flowers and plants in your garden very quickly.
To sum up, there are a whole host of plants that are native to the East Tennessee region. We’d recommend that next time you make a visit, that you keep your eyes peeled for some of the ones listed in our guide above.
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