Photos Courtesy of Pat Berman and Diana Lynn Rau
by Patricia Berman | Special to the Winter Park Times
For a stunning floral display I recommend the Tipperary Trail on County Road 50. It is 5.3 miles from the corner of CR 5 and CR 50 to a parking lot on the right side of CR 50. Walk a few yards to the trailhead.
At the beginning of the hike there are Green Pyrolas on the left side. These wintergreens have rosettes of dark green basal leaves from which arise single stalks of nodding flowers. As you hike the trail keep a look out for pink and white Pyrolas.
About 15 minutes from the trail sign there is a meadow stuffed with flowers. The Corn Husk Lilies are blooming and stand at least 4 feet tall. Also, you will see white and purple Larkspur, Aspen Sunflowers which tends to face east and have five dominant veins in the leaves, Climbing Vetch, White Geranium, Owlclover and Creamy Buckwheat. When you are able to take your eyes off this lush meadow continue up the trail and at the switch back there is a line of tall Cow Parsnips. Look for Bog Orchids and Bittercress in the wetlands.
You will see many more flowers on the hike then I can possibly list. Take a flower book with you and have a great time. Be sure that the wildflower guide book you chose has good pictures of not only the flower but the leaves. I identify wildflowers by their altitude zone, habitat, leaves and flowers in that order. The book should have a glossary with pictures and descriptions of the leaves and flowers.