Shenandoah National Park: Nicholson Hollow Trail Part 1

This weekend we went on a shuttle hike along Nicholson Hollow Trail from the Old Rag parking lot up to Corbin Cabin and back. In total, the hike was 11 miles. To get to the trail, you start by walking 0.8 miles down a road. There were many wildflowers growing on the roadside. Along the way I stopped to take photos so many times that my husband took a look at our hiking tracking app Gaia GPS and laughed that we had only walked half a mile in 30 minutes…

Chicory

Chicory

Chicory, or Chicorium intybus, is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae) and blooms July to October. Native to Europe, it now grows throughout North America. Most often you can see it in pastures and on roadsides.

Only a few flower heads open at a time, and each lasts only a day. The leaves are edible and the root can be dried and ground and used as a coffee substitute.

 

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Asiatic Dayflower

Asiatic Dayflower, Mouse Flower, or Commelina communis, is a member of the Spiderwort family (Commelinaceae) and blooms June to October. It grows along roadsides and woodland borders throughout eastern North America. Originally from Asia, its flowers also open only for one day.

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I’ve noticed that they close later in the day. Last time, when we went to Tuscarora-Overall Run Trail, I meant to take pictures of these flowers on our way back, but got increasingly flummoxed, as we couldn’t find any. Knowing exactly where we had found one before, I checked. It had closed! Look for these little beauties earlier in the day.

White Campion

White Campion

White Campion, or Silene latifolia, is a member of the Carnation family (Caryophyllaceae) and blooms July to October. It grows throughout North America, except in the southern most areas. This flower favors fields and roadsides.

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Garden Phlox

Garden Phlox, Fall Phlox, or Phlox paniculata, is a member of the Phlox family (Polemoniaceae) and blooms July to October. It can be found in the eastern and central United States in open woods and thickets.

These flowers are also popular to use in gardens. I saw them before near the entrance to Buck Hollow Trail. They seem to be more prevalent in fall.

Spearmint

Spearmint

Spearmint, or Mentha spicata, is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) and blooms June to August. Originally from Europe, it now grows throughout North America. It is usually found growing along roadsides and in waste spaces, often in sunny areas with damp soil. Spearmint has many medicinal properties similar to Peppermint, including aiding digestion and relieving cold symptoms.

These were just a few of the many flowers we saw along the road to the junction.

Continue to Part 2

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