Yes, it is December 28 and the flower reports had been suspended until wildflowers in the park start blooming once again; however, yesterday I found Sweet Pinesap in two locations, budded and close to blooming.
It is likely that some of you are not familiar with this wildflower. Please go to P129 of “Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians” to check out this wildflower. The blooming time is listed as “February – April.” However, what I saw today appears ready to bloom soon. The locations were on the Little Greenbrier Trail at the junction of Little Brier Gap Trail and then less than a tenth of a mile down the Little Brier Gap Trail.
The flower is a member of the Heath family and like Indian Pipe has no chlorophyll. The plant is light brown in color and easy to miss seeing. It is known for its fragrance. Not expecting to see wildflowers today I did not have my camera with me.
Tom Harrington is a regular hiker who reports on wildflowers in the Smokies.