Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Wild Flower Season Underway

In just the last week Lost Valley has transformed from the very earliest signs of wildflowers to a widespread bloom encompassing virtually the entire Lost Valley hiking trail.

As in years past the concentration of flowers is in the very first section of the trail up to the Natural Bridge.

As of this writing the species in bloom are as follows:

White Trout Lillies,  Now Peaking at Lost Valley and Smith Creek
Harbinger of Spring
White Trout Lillies
Sharp Lobed Hepatica
Ozark Wake Robin (still early)
Trillium (Toad Shade)

The flowers are more abundant than last year and seem to be earlier, perhaps a week or so. The White Trout Lillies are now peaking. They are amongst the earliest blooms and also the first to go. If you wish to see them it would be a good idea to get out in the next week or two.

This time of year the two upper buffalo river destinations for wildflowers are Lost Valley and the Smith Creek Preserve.

Smith Creek Preserve, while less known, is the equal of Lost Valley for wild flowers. For some species it is much better. It has one of the very largest blooms of Dutchman's Breeches in the region (still a way off). Smith Creek seems to lag a bit behind Lost Valley on the blooming dates, probably about a week.

Just about any Ozark hollow will have wildflowers now. Check the tributary creeks, springs and roadside drainages along the entire Buffalo National River. The bloom dates will vary about according to the micro-climates in the different locations.

The best time for wildflower pictures is about mid morning. Most species open and close depending on temperature and sun light.

Stay tuned for news on the wildflowers. This is just the beginning of the annual wildflower and flowering tree show. It is one of the most popular natural events in our region.

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