Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Green World at the Catawba Wildflower Glen

I was at the Catawba Wildflower Glen on Sunday dodging ticks and poison ivy, sneezing and coughing and yet loving every minute. Why? Well, the wildflowers! This glen is unique for our area because of the abundance of mountain species many miles south of where they normally grow. The stream at the bottom of the glen traces its source to high in the Appalachians. Periodic flooding brings seeds from these plants downstream where they sprout, and on the north-facing slopes of the Catawba glen, flourish and grow just as they do at home. Take a look at a few of the interesting plants there...

Catesby's trillium (Trillium catesbaei)

Wild ginger flowers on the ground (Hexastylis sp.)

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Crested Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata)

Squawroot a.k.a. Bear corn (Conopholis americana)
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The Catawba Wildflower Glen is a conserved tract of land in the Redlair Farm and Forest in Gaston County. Access is private, but groups are regularly given permission to enter. There is a yearly public open day in May. For more information: The Catawba Lands Conservancy 

There is an in-depth article from Charlotte magazine (August 2011) about the Redlair Farm and Forest: This Land by Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman

UPDATED: April 3, 2014


  1. You know I had to go back and look for the spider! Great photo. Good luck.
    Love the wild Ginger.

  2. janet, i didn't see the spider when i was taking that photo! he showed up once i downloaded it and zoomed in. :D

  3. i love the photos. the first one is awesome!!!

  4. These are great pictures. The garden sounds like an extraordinary place. I had never heard of Hexastylis before. We have Asarum here in Washington. It was great to be prompted to learn about the family Aristolochiaceae.

  5. Beautiful photos! I love the trillium.

  6. I love places that have a unique botany or geology. I am glad your glen was not bulldozed at some point for houses.

  7. thanks suzy and ginny!

    jordan, we have asarum here, too. in fact hexastylis used to be asarum but at some point several were reclassified - at least that's my understanding. interesting flowers in that family. do you have the dutchman's pipe vine in washington? it's always exciting to find one of those. here's a picture:

    les, i'm glad that land was saved, too. the lands conservancy had to bargain pretty hard to get it.