Flora Fridays – April 5, 2024

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Fruit Trees


If you have visited eastern Montgomery County in late March, you have likely noticed the beautiful peach trees (Prunus persica) in bloom. The Sandhills soil system, present in the southeast part of the county and state, is optimal for stone fruit and berry production. Candor is known as the peach capital of North Carolina, and hosts the state peach festival the third Saturday in July each year. Just south of Candor in Jackson Springs is the Sandhills Research Station, a crucial agricultural resource for state researchers and local producers. Over 20 peach varieties originated from research conducted onsite, including the famous ‘Winblo’ peach. You can shop farm fresh produce by visiting one of the many local farm stands starting in April, as well as at the Troy and Biscoe farmers markets throughout the summer. Local peaches will start to fill the produce stands in May!

Peach trees blooming near Candor, NC.

Spring or Rosebud Cherry

Some fruit trees are grown specifically for their flowers. Take for example the spring flowering cherry, Prunus x subhirtella. This tree, a hybrid introduced from Japan, flowers profusely in whites and pinks in early spring. Walking by a tree in full bloom, you can hear the bees and pollinators hard at work collecting nectar. Besides its flowers this ornamental tree can be identified by its reddish shiny bark, and sawtooth edge green leaves. In the summer, pollinated flowers produce pea sized black fruits.

Prunus x subhirtella form. Troy, NC.

Prunus x subhirtella flowers. Troy, NC. Possibly the cultivar ‘Yedoensis’


While not fruit trees, we had to share these photos of local stand out ornamental plants. These herbaceous perennials are day lilies, or Hemerocallis sp. Day lilies are great for mass plantings and grow well on slopes with high organic matter and good drainage. When in bloom from spring into summer, the bell shaped flowers are bright to deep reds, oranges, and yellows. The photos below show the grass like leaves, dawning jewel-like water drops from recent rains. Exploring the landscape after rain can provide a completely new perspective  – from the smell of the humid earth, the brightening of garden colors, and sounds/sights of increased bird activity. 

Clumping day lilies growing on a slope in Troy. Fresh rain brings seems to make the leaves glow green!

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of Flora Fridays! Like what we post? Please consider leaving feedback in the box below. At Extension, we are here to listen to and address your needs. 

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