Asheville's Wildflower Bloom Schedule

Looking Glass Rock with wildflowers

The landscape of the southern Appalachians is rich in biodiversity, offering you an opportunity to discover flora not found anywhere else in the world. In Asheville, showy native wildflowers bloom with the arrival of spring and progress throughout the year, making Asheville one of the longest wildflower bloom seasons in the country.

Check out Asheville’s wildflower bloom schedule below to learn more about the region’s most prominent native wildflowers and where to find them on your next visit.

April May June July

April

Dutchman’s Breeches

The common name from this spring ephemeral comes from its outer "V"-shaped hanging petals that look like a pair of white breeches hung upside-down.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 367.5.

Dwarf Crested Iris

This diminutive iris spreads easily in the forest floor, creating clusters of color ranging from pale blue to lavender.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 379 and at The N.C. Arboretum.

Bloodroot

This wildflower's roots produce a yellow-orange dye and its stems produce an orange-red dye favored by Native Americans and textile artists.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 294 and at the N.C. Arboretum.

Eastern Redbud

Also known as spicewood, this magenta bare-wood is a member of the Leguminosae or Pea family and displays purplish, pink flowers every spring.

map markerFound in the wild along forest edges, as well as at the N.C. Arboretum.

Indian Paintbrush

The plant's red blossoms are actually modified leaves, called bracts, that attract bees and ruby-throated hummingbirds essential to pollination.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 369-371.

Carolina Allspice/ Sweetshrub

Fragrant leaves, twigs and maroon blossoms distinguish this native shrub (sometimes called strawberry bush).

map markerCommonly found along streambanks and the N.C. Arboretum.

Trillium

This member of the lily family consists of 39 native species and is also known as Wake Robin, Toadshade and Birthroot.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 330-340, and 370-375 and The N.C. Arboretum.

Lady Slipper

The translation of their botanical name - Cypripedium Acaule - is Venus' shoes, which is a perfect fit for their ballet-slipper pink or yellow blossoms.

map markerFound at the N.C. Arboretum and Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

May

Dogwood

The common name of this showy native tree is believed to come from a colonial description of the fruit as being edible but not fit for a dog. It is also the official state flower of North Carolina.

map markerFound growing wild along the Blue Ridge Parkway and at the North Carolina Arboretum.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

This shy wildflower's name comes from its appearance that resembles a Sunday-morning preacher perched in an old-fashioned pulpit.

map markerCommon in area woodlands and at the Asheville Botanical Garden.

Mayapple

This wildflower contains one or two large umbrella-like leaves and blooms in early May. After it flowers, it produces an apple-like fruit, hence its common name. Its fruit is often consumed by Eastern box turtles (North Carolina’s state turtle), which also disperse the flower’s seeds.

map markerFound in open woodland areas, along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 315-317, 320.8 and 339.5, and at the N.C. Arboretum.

Flame Azalea

This native bloomer is a member of the rhododendron family that favors grassy mountain balds and woodland slopes.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 308-310, 368-380, 412-423 and at The N.C. Arboretum.

Fire Pink

Also known as Indian Pink, this short-lived perennial was named N.C.'s Wildflower of the Year in 2015.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 339.3, 367-375, 404-408, at the Asheville Botanical Garden and The N.C. Arboretum.

Solomon Seal

The name of this shade-loving wildflower comes from its roots that some believed possessed scars resembling the ancient Hebrew seal of King Solomon.

map markerCommon along the Blue Ridge Parkway in moist wooded slopes, coves, at the Asheville Botanical Garden, and The N.C. Arboretum.

Columbine

Ancient Greeks and Romans credited this plant to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, while other cultures associated it with foolishness because its blossom resembles a jester's hat.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 339.3 Picnic Area, 370-378 and at the Asheville Botanical Garden.

Pinkshell Azalea

Azalea vaseyi is a rare and endangered species that is native only to the N.C. mountains; it bears the botanical name of George Vasey who discovered it in 1878.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at elevations between 3,000 and 5,500 feet and at the N.C. Arboretum.

June

Catawba Rhododendron

This medium-sized rhododendron takes its name from the powerful Catawba Indians; legend has it that its rosy pink flowers appeared following the Catawba's victory over neighboring tribes.

map markerFound at Craggy Gardens at MP 364 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the N.C. Arboretum, and elevations around 3,000 feet.

Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia is a member of the heather family; its other names include Ivybush, Calicobush and Spoonbush (so named because Native Americans made spoons from its wood).

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 347.9, 380, 400 and at the North Carolina Arboretum.

Sourwood

Pioneers used the sap of this native tree to create a fever-treating drink; today we use the dark rich honey produced from its fragrant lily of the valley-like blossoms to sweeten our drinks and food.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 375-380 and the N.C. Arboretum.

Rosebay Rhododendron

Rhododendron maximum, also known as Big Laurel, forms dense thickets, some as high as 20 feet, that are critical to the health of Southern Appalachian forests and the wildlife that dwell there.

map markerFound at the N.C. Arboretum and at the Blue Ridge Parkway MP 339.3 Picnic Area, MP 352-353, and MP 455-456.

Goat's Beard

This showy herbaceous perennial (Aruncus dioicus) lives for up to 10 years and can reach six feet in height; Native Americans used the roots to create healing poultices and infusions.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 337.6, 370-375 and at the Asheville Botanical Garden.

Foam Flower

The botanical name -- Tiarella cordifolia -- comes from the Greek meaning little tiara, a reference to the shape of the plant's pistil that reminded early botanists of a Persian turban.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway MP 339.5, 367.7 Picnic Area and at the Asheville Botanical Garden.

Fraser Magnolia

This large-leafed tree (also known as the Mountain Magnolia) produces fragrant blossoms that can grow up to 12 inches in diameter; it is named for the 18th century Scottish botanist John Fraser, who discovered it.

map markerFound at the North Carolina Arboretum and in woodlands at elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 feet.

Sundrop

The nectar from this day-blooming member of the evening primrose family supports bees and hummingbirds, while its seeds are a favorite of songbirds.

map markerFound along sunny roadsides, on banks and rocky outcroppings and in dry forests and meadows throughout the area, and at MP 351-352, 355-360, 370-375 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

July

Turk's Cap Lily

This largest and most spectacular native lily prefers moist soil and partial shade; it's orange blooms grow on stalks as high as eight feet and are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies.

map markerFound at the Asheville Botanical Gardens and along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 364-368, 406-411.

Tall Coneflower

Commonly called Cutleaf Coneflower, this tall wildflower was one of the earliest American species sent back to England by 17th century explorers and grew in the garden of King Charles I.

map markerFound along the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 314, 359-368.

Phlox Carolina

The name Phlox comes from the Latin meaning flame; no surprise, then, that this showy wildflower blooms during the hottest part of the summer in full sun.

map markerFound at the Asheville Botanical Gardens and at MP 339.3 Picnic Area and 370-380 along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Mountain Ash

Sorbus americanus is a small understory tree that thrives in cooler climates and sunshine; despite it's name, it is actually a member of the rose family.

map markerFound at at higher elevations in the spruce-fir forests at Mt. Mitchell and Mt. Pisgah.

Black Cohosh

Found in woodland areas with reliably wet, heavy soil, this member of the buttercup family was used by Native Americans to treat snakebite, inflamed lungs and pain during childbirth.

map markerFound at Asheville Botanical Garden, and at MP 374 along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Black Eyed Susan

It's said that this wildflower's name comes from a popular post-Elizabethan era poem in which Black-Eyed Susan bids farewell to her Sweet William who is about to set off on a high seas journey.

map markerFound at the N.C. Arboretum, Asheville Botanical Garden, in fields and along roadsides

Common Milkweed

A critical source of food for Monarch butterfly larvae, this tall weed-like plant produces balls of pink and purplish-colored flowers in the summer. Named for its milky sap, this plant has been used for fiber, food and medicine by many for centuries.

map markerOften found along roadsides and at the N.C. Arboretum.

Wild Bergamot

This member of the wild mint family is a favorite among bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; it is also one of the few wildflowers that and tolerate the chemical produced by black walnut trees.

map markerFound at Asheville Botanical Garden and MP 38.8, 368-374 along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Updated May 24, 2024