Purple Fringe Orchid
Numerous little orchids bloom at the top of a 12-20" stem. The blooming part (Raceme) can be 2-8" long. Grows in wet acid soils at elevations of 2500- 6500'. This flower was photographed in the middle of July along Clingman's Dome Road (GSM). Plant can also be found on Heintooga Road (BRP mile marker 458.2). From BRP take Balsam Mtn. Road to Heintooga Road (unpaved one way-4 wheel drive not required) which continues for 17 miles gradually down hill through rhododendron thickets. Road ends at Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Highway 441.