LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Rhododendron Shrub Bald

Figure 9. Rhododendrons and laurels grow in this mountain bald. (Photograph by the author. More about the photograph)

Figure 9 shows the interior of a rhododendron shrub bald at about 5500 feet. Note the close spacing of the rhododendrons and the herb layer of ferns and wildflowers. These thicket habitats are attractive both from a distance and up close when the flowers are blooming. The abundance of rhododendron and laurel thickets along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a major reason for its recent history as the most-visited component of the National Park System.