Washmorgan Hollow, a sheltered ravine on the Eastern Highland Rim in Jackson County, is an excellent habitat for both plants and animals. Owned by the Nature Conservancy of Tennessee, this 73-acre natural area has an uncommonly rich and diverse flora. Steep slopes, dropping 200-300 feet, separate winding ridges. A perennial stream creates a waterfall at the head of the hollow, then flows into Roaring River just below its confluence with Spring Creek, both state scenic rivers.
The mostly undisturbed forest is a delight for birdwatchers. There are neotropical warblers here, including cerulean warblers, scarlet tanagers, and worm-eating warblers. Red and sugar maples, large beeches, and tulip poplars are common, along with large sycamores and box elder along the stream. The forest is a mixed mesophytic community type, indicated by buckeye and basswood, along with species of ash, oak, and hickory. Unfortunately, many of the butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) have been affected by butternut canker and are dead or dying.
This rich hollow with its steep slopes and mixed forest supports a colorful spring flora, including a large population of synandra (Synandra hispidula), in the mint family, and uncommon in Tennessee.
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