Plants

The gorgeous plants and vegetation inside the Great Smoky Mountains is absolutely breathtaking. Depending on the surrounding temperature, elevation levels, rainfall amount and geology, the historic mountains are the home to more than 1,600 species of plants. Of the many different species, there are 100 different tree species that are native to the area and 100 different native shrubs. From the middle of April to the middle May, certain regions inside the park are engulfed in spring ephemeral wildflowers that bloom thickly in the deciduous forest. During the months of June and July, there are magnificent displays of rhododendron, mountain laurel and azalea.

On top of the many different types of flowers, the Great Smoky Mountains is a melting pot of non-flowing vegetation including 450 different species of liverworts, byophytes-mosses, hornworts and 50 different kinds of fern allies and ferns.

The Great Smoky Mountains are also home to three of the federally endangered plant species that include Virginia spiraea, spreading avens and rock gnome lichen. Not stopping there, park visitors can also take in the sights of more than 300 types of native vascular plant species that are considered to be extremely rare. These types of vegetation can usually only be located in small populations or found in a few spots throughout the entire park.