I was so excited to finally see these rare wildflowers in bloom at Devils Fork State Park. The Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) is a special treasure of the southeast of the United States. They only bloom for a couple weeks each year.
I found the story of Asa Gray's obsession with this wildflower really interesting. He spent 38 years looking for them in the wild after he saw this unnamed species in a collection in Paris. Then, almost 90 years after they were first discovered, the teenage son of a amateur botanist stumbled upon them, and they were rediscovered.