Swamp Thing? NO, Swamp Pink!
April 14, 2009 by Don Gentle
High Rocks is home to a threatened plant of the lily family known as the “Swamp Pink.” Ben Nelson of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy identified the threatened species during surveys for the Rich Mountain Land Conservancy last year.
Early to Mid-April is a good time to see it in bloom, so Ed Schwartzman of the NC Natural Heritage Program and a few Brevard College students came by to see the status of the plant. All looked good, but it was not quite blooming yet. We were excited to hear about the biological treasure here at High Rocks!
The Swamp Pink (Helonias bullata) has only been identified in four counties of North Carolina, usually in southern Appalachian bogs and swamps. It has a Basal rosette of light green, lance-shaped and parallel-veined leaves with a hollow-stemmed flower stalk that can grow 8-35 inches during flowering and up to 5 feet during seed maturation. Small pink flowers are clustered (30-50) at the tip of the stem, in a bottlebrush shape.