Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Limestone glade

We discovered a small limestone glade. It's not near our place, but it's in the same county (Blount county).

Plants in these glades thrive in unusual conditions: very thin soil on dry rocky ground.

A rocky pocket. From above, these flowers bring starfish to mind.

Widowscross, Sedum pulchellum. A.k.a. Pink stonecrop.

Most of them were white rather than pink. Definitely, they fit the description of "locally abundant".

Drifts of sandwort surrounded the sedum. I believe this is Glade sandwort, Minuartia patula.

In the shadier areas, there was a little Miami mist (Phacelia purshii). (Sounds more like a soft drink than a plant to me.)

I love the fringed petals.


LauraP said...

I wonder how many species your limestone glade has in common with those I visit in the Ozarks? A research topic for an idle day?

nina said...

I love seeing how nature can do so much with so little.
A bare rock, with just the barest nutrients collecting--and such beauty thrives there.

egassner said...

Those do remind me of the sea too...very pretty.
I hope you don't mind, but I mentioned you in my blog today. It is here if you'd like to read it:


I just love coming to your page :D

Annie in Austin said...

It's so different to see different sedum growing wild instead of in borders, Rurality.

Have you seen Gail's blog called Clay and Limestone? She's posted photos from Couchville Cedar Glade, which seem a little similar to your limestone glade, and describes her area as rhe Central Basin, Davidson County, Nashville, Tennessee. I'm not sure if that's connected to you geographically.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

DeeDee said...

Just beautiful..As children, we would go for long walks in the mountains of NC...in the spring it looked much like your pictures....everything coming back to life...nice post....

DeeMom said...

Lovely photos and information

fred said...

Wow. Haven't seen any landscape that looks like this in a while. We went to a similar outcropping in systematic botany class, and for some reason the name Talinum teretifolium pops out of the memory banks--a succulent, I think, but lordy its been thirty plus years! Love the sedum. And will be seeing fringed phacelia at Mt Rogers in two weeks.

Rurality said...

Laura, when I searched on limestone glades, I kept getting hits on the Ozarks. There are also several in Tennessee, apparently. I don't think they're that common here.

Nina. I know what you mean. It almost doesn't seem possible!

Egassner, thanks, I'll visit right away!

Annie, that's funny, that blog kept coming up in my searches too. :)

Deedee, I loved walking in the woods as a kid too - just didn't know much about it then.

DM, thanks.

Fred, I had to look that one up - it's nice!

robin andrea said...

I've never seen a limestone glade. Just those two words together sound like a beautiful afternoon stroll. I love that fringed flower.

BritGal' Sarah said...

What amazing looking little flowers and in such a sparse environment - nature is wonderful!

pablo said...

I've found one area in my woods that supports stonecrop. Sweet little plant.

Anonymous said...


Have you ever been to Mardis Mill off Hwy 79 and 231 just south of Blountsville? Blount county is full of little out-of-way places . If you go upstream from Swann Bridge you will find a pretty little spot where the water pools up, good swimming hole. I like to look out for the remains of bridge piers everytime I cross a creek, you'd be surprised how many you see. Anyway, don't tell everyone how beautiful it is there, they'll all want to come!


C.S. said...

Always enjoy your posts, and learning about native plants.

I ran across this interesting article, thought you might like to read it:

Is soil good for you?

Titania said...

Softly, softly, I love the tiny wildflowers and the carpet plants covering partly the lime stone, very beautiful.

Blue Fox said...

Even the best gardeners would have to work mighty hard to compete with the beauty of the limestone glade! I also love your other post about the Camassia, I'm growing that for the first time this year - I hope it does as well as Alabama Powers lovely display!

Rurality said...

Robin, I really love it. We have lots of limestone on our place, but nothing like this.

Sarah, yes it is! I can still remember how amazed I was the first time I ever saw flowers in a place like that. I went home very excited to look it up - turns out it was a variety called Elf Orpine, and every time I see it I recall that first time. :)

Pablo, I wish I had some here - I really thought I would. No luck finding any so far, though.

Barry, I haven't been there, but I've seen pictures. There are a million places like that in Blount county I think.

Thanks CS, I will check it out!

Titania, thanks, it was especially lovely so early in the morning, when the birds were just getting into full song, and the gnats were still asleep. :)

Blue Fox, good luck! This ground was VERY rocky just underneath the surface. If yours don't grow, try digging in some gravel!

J Milton said...

A treasure, yes? One of my favorite kinds of mini-environments.

Here is the granite version in my neck of Georgia.

Rurality said...

JM, yeah I've seen some of that at Stone Mountain! :)