Logo Mandarin Cove, Eagle Mtn
Southern Nantahala Wilderness - April 2017
All Text & Images:
Copyright (2017)


A wildflower expedition to an area of the Wilderness that I had not previously explored, on
the north-facing slope of Eagle Mountain at mid-upper elevation.   I found another rich cove
forest environment and a fairly rare plant that I'd been hoping to see for several years.


Spotted_Mandarin
I had been keeping an eye out for this plant for some time.   Finally found a population!


Spotted_Mandarin
Spotted Mandarin, aka Nodding Mandarin or Spotted Fairy Bells   (Prosartes maculata)


Spotted_Mandarin
The flowers usually hang singly or in pairs.


Spotted_Mandarin
A beautiful specimen


Spotted_Mandarin
One more pair of flowers...


While the Spotted Mandarin was the highlight, there were lots of other things to see:

Blue_Cohosh
Blue Cohosh   (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
A good indicator species of a rich cove forest environment...



Buttercup
Hairy Buttercup   (Ranunculus hispidus)


Trout_Lily
Trout Lilies were just blooming at the higher elevations!


Showy_Orchis
Showy Orchis   (Galearis spectabilis) was just starting to make an appearance.


Rock_Shelter
One of several rock shelters found in one particular area.


Rock_Shelter
Another rock shelter adjacent to the previous one.
This one had a "cave" in the rocks that went back 20 feet.



Toothwort
Broad-leaved Toothwort   (Cardamine diphylla)


Ragwort
Golden Ragwort   (Packera aurea)


Rhododendron
An unusual rhododendron
A perfectly shaped specimen, it was on the crest of a high ridge.   Far from any water, there was not
another rhododendron in sight.   I think deer-browsing has given this bush its tree-like shape.




Eight days after shooting the previous images, I made a return visit to what I now called Mandarin Cove:

Lady_Slipper
On my way up, I encountered my first Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) of the year
Oddly, I would not see another one all day!   Bloom season was still early at that elevation.



Yellow_Mandarin
On this visit, Yellow Mandarin (Prosartes lanuginosa) was blooming with the Spotted Mandarin.
The large populations of both Mandarins led me christen this location "Mandarin Cove".



Spotted Mandarin
Spotted Mandarin was still blooming profusely.


Trillium_erectum
Wake Robin   (Red form of Trillium erectum)
The higher elevations had a variety of trilliums besides the T. cuneatum and T. catesbaei so common down lower.



Cream_Trillium_erectum
Wake Robin   (Cream-flowered form of Trillium erectum)


Vaseys_Trillium
Vasey's Trillium, aka Sweet Wakerobin   (Trillium vaseyi)


Showy_Orchis
Showy Orchis was still early in its bloom period.


Columbine

Red Columbine   (Aquilegia canadensis)
Finding this single plant on a cliffside was the highlight of my day!


Columbine




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