Extending through the Carolinas, Georgia, and eastern Tennessee, the southern Appalachian Mountains are home to a rich diversity of plant life. This field guide contains detailed information on 130 genera and 280 species of trees, shrubs and woody vines - all but the very rarest species - including those found among the popular Blue Ridge Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Based on more than 5000 plant specimens collected by the authors in a decade of hiking that totalled more than 5400 miles, this guide covers all the common native species, and many of the rare ones, that grow not only in the forests but also in the high-mountain meadows, on heath balds, in long-abandoned fields, and along fence rows and roadsides. In addition to the plant descriptions, the guide contains illustrated keys to both summer and winter traits - that is, twigs, bark, and winter buds, as well as leaves - so that readers can collect and identify specimens at any time of year.
From the birch and alder, to the oak and Carolina silverbell, from the mountain-laurel and American holly, to the mountain pepperbush, chokeberry, buffalo nut and yellowroot, the trees, shrubs and woody vines described here include many plants unique to the southern mountains as well as those found elsewhere in eastern North America. This field guide should be of interest to hikers, campers, fishermen, hunters, tourists, and all those who, for whatever reason, enjoy the southern Appalachian Mountains.