Shenandoah National Park: Graves Mill Trail – Rapidan River Shuttle Part 2

Continued from Part 1

After taking quite some time snapping pictures of wildflowers in the parking lot and near the beginning of the trail, we started heading along the path through the forest. At the post half a mile in, we kept going along Graves Mill Trail.

We saw some of these little yellow violets, although the purple ones were more common. There are actually 20 different species of violets that grow in Shenandoah National Park.

Downy Yellow Violet

Downy Yellow Violet, Hairy Yellow Forest Violet, or Viola pubescens, is a member of the Violet Family (Violaceae) and blooms March to May in the woods. A native plant, it grows throughout eastern and central North America. The plant is slightly hairy, hence the name.

Common Blue Violet

Common Blue Violet, or Viola sororia, is a member of the Violet Family (Violaceae) and blooms March to June in damp woods, moist meadows, in lawns, and along roadsides. Similar to its yellow cousin above, it is also a native plant that grows throughout eastern and central North America.

Researching violets, I found out that they are edible. Not only are Violet leaves are high in vitamins and can be eaten in salads or cooked, but the flowers themselves can be candied.

Ivy-Leaved Speedwell

Ivy-Leaved Speedwell, Ivyleaf Speedwell, or Veronica hederaefolia, is a member of the Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae). It has been introduced to North America from Europe and grows in varied places in the east and west of the continent.

I was greatly impressed that my macro lens was able to pick up this tiny flower and all of its details. Having a tripod also helped the stability of the camera and assured that these minuscule details did not blur. Individual flowers typically measure 1/8 inch (or .32 centimeters) across.

Bluets

Bluets, or Houstonia caerulea, are a member of the Madder Family (Rubiaceae) and bloom April to June. They grow in grassy fields and slopes as well as thickets.

There are almost too many photos and types of wildflowers to share that we found on the trail!

Continue to Part 3

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