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SUMMER WILDFLOWERS in NORTH GEORGIA

Before the “Big Show” of the fall leaves starts in October, there are still many late summer wildflowers to be enjoyed.  And one of the best places to appreciate them is the area around Blue Ridge—right here in the North Georgia Mountains.  The list of native Georgia wildflowers is long indeed.  Most of them bloom in the spring and early summer.  But, there are several that pop up at this time of the year, seemingly to tide us over until the spectacular colors of autumn arrive.  While you are driving along the highways and byways, or hiking to that secluded waterfall, keep your eyes peeled for the unexpected wonder of our wildflowers.  Many attract butterflies and hummingbirds as an added bonus.  Here are just a few that you may encounter:

The Showy Goldenrod blooms September –October.  Tiny, bright yellow flowers cluster atop 2-3’ reddish brown stems.  Butterflies and bees are often seen hovering around these stunning displays of color.       
Gentians have distinctive bell-shaped flowers.  There are 7 different species that can be found in our area—all shades of blue.  The Fringed Gentian is one of the last wildflowers to bloom each year and it is becoming extremely rare.  
The Yellow Coneflower blooms July through September.  Its drooping petals sway in the breeze. 

 

The Black Eyed Susan is perhaps the best known wildflower.  It blooms July through September.

 
 

Mountain Mint, as its name suggests, has a minty aroma.  It was used by the native Indians as a tonic.  You can find it growing from June through September.

Butterfly Weed’s brilliant orange flowers can be seen June through August in our mountains.

 
 

The Giant Blue Lobelias are found along lakes and streams.  In the late summer you can see their spikes of deep blue flowers attracting hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds also love Wild Columbine.  Each nodding flower has 5 red and 5 yellow intricate petals.  It blooms in early spring, disappears over the hot summer, then reappears when the temperatures cool off in early fall.  Each flower sits on a 2-3 foot branch. 
Finches love it for its seeds in autumn.

 
 

Purple Prairie Clover has bright magenta and yellow flowers and is a real butterfly attractor from July through August.

The dainty Evening Primrose is an interesting flower that is found in meadows and along roadsides.  It has a lemony scent and it opens at dusk and closes by noon the next day.

 
 

The Sky Blue Aster blooms from August to October.  It has lovely lavender blue flowers.