Identifying Tennessee's Woodland Plants & Flowers

Identifying Tennessee's Woodland Plants & FlowersThere are large areas of woodlands in Tennessee. These include Blackberry Blossom located in the eastern region of the state and woodlands in Madison County in western Tennessee. You can find several kinds of plants and flowers in these woodlands, though some plants may not be as commonly found as others. (Pictured: Indian Pipe)


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Book on plants in Tennessee
Step 1
Look in the dense forests such as the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee to find the Indian Pipe. This plant got its name from a belief that it grew where ever Native American chiefs sat and smoked their peace pipe. These plants are white and don't need the sun to grow. Instead they derive energy from decomposed plant material in the soil, which is why they grow best in in forests. Each stem contains one flower and it grows during the early summer months to the early fall.
Step 2
Notice the types of mosses and lichens that grow on trees in Tennessee woodlands. These grow on various rocks such as limestone and granite as well. Lichens are edible if boiled. Lichens are made up of algae and fungus and grow best in direct sunlight. Moss grows best in indirect sunlight and grows at the base of the tree.
Step 3
Recognize the herbs located in various woodlands of Tennessee. The American ginseng and mayapple plants are used for medicine. The ginseng and mayapple have brightly colored green leaves. The ginseng has reddish fruit growing from the leaves while the mayapple has green fruit. The roots of both plants are used for medicine. For example, the roots of mayapple are used for treatment of cancer and the roots of ginseng are used in treatment of diabetes type 2. Mayapple grows up to one foot high from the ground and has leaves in the shape of umbrellas. American ginseng can be found in the woodlands towards the northern region of Tennessee.
Step 4
Search for one of the most elegant flowers in woodland areas of Tennessee. The moccasin flower or also known as the pink lady's slipper are found in woodlands in the northern region of the state. They grow best in cooler temperatures. The moccasin flower is an orchard that gets its name from the shape of the pink and white flower. They are fertilized from pollen received by insects that the flower traps within its petals.
Step 5
Look for some exotic plants finding their way into the Tennessee woodlands. The mimosa and musk thistle can be found in the midst of tall trees. The mimosa has long green stems with pink flowers on each stem and white tips. Musk thistles are similar in that they have long green stems and pink (sometimes purple) flowers, but the flower is shaped like a disk. Its leaves are coarse whereas the mimosa leaves are soft and will bend when touched.

Tips & Warnings

The fruits from the ginseng and mayapple plants are not recommended to eat.

Article Written By Laura Hageman

Laura Hageman has written varied articles on real estate to entertainment topics for the past three years. Hageman wrote a romantic comedy novel entitled Her Desire listed on She has written for Web sites such as CurrentForeclosures and Triond over the course of 7 years. Hageman holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts.

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