From late March to the middle of May is the best time of year to go hunting for native wildflowers. It may surprise you all the fun and colorful species that pop up to welcome spring. Here are our top picks for hunting down native wildflowers in Knoxville.
Ijams Nature Center
The trails at Ijams Nature Center weave through a patchwork of diverse habitats with varying soil types and light conditions. This results in a wide array of native species appearing throughout the nature center! Explore woodlands and wetlands along the Discovery Trails, and reclaimed mining sites along Imerys Trail. Wildflower species such as Solomon’s seal, trilliums, wild geranium and phloxes have all been spotted.
Dean’s Woods is a well-kept secret near Alcoa Highway. The UT-owned property consists of roughly 20 acres and is situated along Woodson Drive in South Knoxville, the trail is accessible from a small parking area. A single, main trail runs the long axis of the property (from Woodson Drive toward Bunker Hill), and there are two side trails: one along the Deanbrook Creek at the front and the other to a limestone outcropping near the middle of the property. Plants that thrive on the site include Canada Violet, Celandine Poppy, Columbine, Dutchman’s Breeches, Golden Seal, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Shortia, Spring Beauty, Squirrel Corn, Virginia Bluebells, and Yellowroot. The property is open to the public but please be respectful of this sensitive habitat for threatened plant species.