Roadside flowers 2010

6 comments on Roadside flowers 2010
3 minutes

When I started taking road trips four years ago, I was propelled entirely by curiosity about the old roads. But with my camera in hand I slowly learned to see my surroundings – old bridges, historic houses, classic roadside businesses, neon signs, breathtaking views, and even the charm of the small town. But first I noticed the flowers growing along the roadside.

While I’ve learned to recognize some wildflowers, I still can’t name most of them. So if you recognize any of these flowers, please tell me what they are in the comments!

Roadside flowers 2010

Fields full of flowers are hard to ignore, and are probably what caused me to notice roadside flowers in the first place. On my first US 50 trip this year, I came upon a field of these lavender and white flowers growing where Old US 50 splits from US 50 just east of Dillsboro. These flowers are small and were growing in a huge clump. It was hard to tell that the petals are of two colors until I got close to them.

Roadside flowers 2010

I first noticed daylilies on one of my 2008 Michigan Road trips. They were hard to miss; I was standing next to a drainage ditch full of them while I photographed an old farmhouse. I was curious enough about them that I scoured the Internet until I learned what kind of flower they were. These were growing along a fence on US 50’s original path (now just a county road) east of Hayden.

Roadside flowers 2010

I found a little Queen Anne’s Lace lurking next to a concrete arch bridge on a Putnam County country road. At least I think it’s Queen Anne’s Lace. I’ve read that this is also called the wild carrot. It has a long white taproot and is an ancestor of the domesticated carrot we eat.

Roadside flowers 2010

My Putnam County bridge trip yielded the most flowers of any road trip this season. This blossom was a little weatherworn. I guessed that this might be thistle, but a little Googling revealed that I was wrong. Maybe you can fill in this blank for me.

Roadside flowers 2010

I recognize this one, all right – Hybiscus siriacus, or Rose of Sharon. When I moved into my house, three enormous Rose of Sharon bushes were growing in my front yard near the property line. My neighbor, the master Hosta grower, complained about all the babies my prolific bushes were dumping into his gardens. When he needed to have a tree removed, he offered to pay to remove my bushes. I had no love for the bushes and wished to improve neighbor relations, so I agreed. Anyway, I photographed this flower next to one of Putnam County’s covered bridges.

Roadside flowers 2010

This is another find from the Putnam County bridge trip. I feel kind of silly not knowing what kind of flower this is, because they are ubiquitous.

Roadside flowers 2010

I found a bunch of these flowers growing on a county road south of Shoals that I’m pretty sure was US 50’s original route. Looking back through my US 50 posts, I promised that I’d write about this alignment, but never did! At any rate, as I framed this photo the bee flew onto the flower.

This is my favorite flower photo of the season. I like the depth of field I managed to get and the way the colors come together. Purple is my favorite color, too. These are phlox, and I don’t see them very often by the roadside. I like these flowers so much I wonder if I can grow them in my yard. I photographed these near the same Putnam County bridge where I found the Rose of Sharon.

Roadside phlox

Every year I find new (to me) varieties of flowers by the roadside. I look forward to finding more next year.

If you enjoyed these photos, you should also check out the roadside flower photos I shared in 2008 and in 2009.


6 responses to “Roadside flowers 2010”

  1. Dani Avatar

    Beautiful! God is quite the artist, eh?
    First picture is of Crown Vetch. Fourth is Clover. Sixth, I feel as if I should know but I am drawing a blank. Seventh might be a Morning Glory or Pea Vine.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Dani, thanks for helping to fill in the blanks! I have to admit, I look forward to my annual roadside flowers post all summer as I photograph blossoms.

  2. Sheila Swansom Avatar


    The yellow flower is a coreopsis. I loved the article! I wish I could write like that but I always get writer’s block. Keep up the good work!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks, Sheila! I was 41 years old before I paid any attention to flowers, so I’m still learning all their names!

  3. Kat Wilder Avatar

    Beautiful photos. I, too, love wildflowers but am clueless when it comes to the names of many of them. I have a friend who doe know, however, so it’s nice to have her along on a hike. Somehow, the only name I remember is the Bluedick. wonder why …..

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks Kat! Obviously, my approach is to crowdsource these flowers’ names.

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