The Roan Highlands
by Donald Hyatt

R. catawbiense and Spider Web The Roan Highlands, including Roan Mountain, Round Bald, Grassy Ridge, and Jane Bald, are located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The 5000 to 6000 foot peaks in this mountainous area are not heavily forrested, but are mostly open grassy balds abounding with rhododendrons, native azaleas, and wildflowers. Not only is the region noted for its botanical richness along the ridges, but when the mist at the cloud level eventally clears, the views are among the most magnificent in our eastern mountains.

I want to share a few pictures from my hiking expeditions along the Appalacian Trail through this region. I hope you agree that it is one of the most beautiful natural gardens in the world. I have been hiking in this area several times, but I have invariably missed the peak season for the native Rhododendron catawbiense. One day, I will return to see the mountian tops drenched in the lavender-pink blossoms of this native rhododendron. The Flame Azaleas, R. calendulaceum, seem to bloom over an extended period of time and have been in excellent condition on each of my excursions. The other wildflowers were spectacular. Please remember that these beautiful plants are treasured by all who enjoy this magnificent setting. Enjoy, but do not disturb these spectacular wildflowers.

Rhododendron catawbiense near Roan Mountain

Spider Web
R. catawbiense
R. catawbiense
R. catawbiense
and the mountain view
R. catawbiense in full bloom

Rhododendron calendulaceum at Engine Gap near Round Bald

Orange calendulaceum
Orange R. calendulaceum
Close Up of R. calendulaceum
R. calendulaceum
the Flame Azalea
Yellow Calendulaceum
Compact Yellow
R. calendulaceum
R. calendulaceum in the Clouds
R. calendulaceum at Engine Gap

More Wildflowers near Grassy Ridge and Jane Bald

Grasses, Saxifrages, and Cinquefoils

The rare Gray's Lily
Sad note:   This plant, in its magnificent
setting, was dug by someone in 1997.

Yellow Hawkweed

For more pictures from the area, see my other related webpages:
Back to my Homepage
Back to my Garden Center Page

Copyright © Donald W. Hyatt