Roadside flowers 2012

13 comments on Roadside flowers 2012
2 minutes

When I was a boy, when the family would take to the road my mom would always call out by name all the flowers growing by the roadside. She recognized almost all of them. I cared not one whit.

I took my first trip exploring the old roads at about the same time my divorce became final, as an escape as I began the joyless work of rebuilding my life. As I stopped to photograph the old alignments, I began to notice – and be delighted by – the flowers. But I had no idea what any of them were!

So I turned to you, my readers – which has become a tradition here at Down the Road. Welcome to the fifth annual post where I share the flowers I found by the roadside. Thanks to your comments over the years, I can identify more and more of them each year. But where my knowledge fails, I still appreciate your kind assistance.

When I toured the first half of Indianapolis’s Dandy Trail this summer, I found flowers by an abandoned bridge. I see these somewhere on the road every year, but I have no idea what they are.

Roadside flowers

These are coreopsis, I think. I don’t think I’ve ever seen speckled ones before.

Roadside flowers

Still at the abandoned bridge, I found these day lilies. They’re one of the most common flowers I see by the roadside. They’re so cheerful! I’d like to have a huge bunch of these in my yard.

Roadside flowers

As I toured the Dixie Highway in southern Indiana, flowers flecked the shore of a little roadside pond. These white wildflowers were everywhere.

Roadside flowers

I never get through a road-trip season without seeing some Queen Anne’s Lace. The shore was thick with them.

Roadside flowers

Here’s some red clover, found along the road near the pond.

Roadside flowers

Farther down the Dixie, just before a rerouting causes the original alignment to dead end on Bedford’s south side, I came upon these. I’ve never seen them before!

Roadside flowers

Also check out the roadside flowers I photographed in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.


13 responses to “Roadside flowers 2012”

  1. Tori Nelson Avatar

    I’m simple. Queen Anne’s Lace has always been a favorite :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      How fortunate for you that it’s so easy to find, then!

  2. Dani Avatar

    So, you like the lillies, eh? You want some? I gots some!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Bring ’em on! But not now; it’s too cold to dig.

  3. ryoko861 Avatar

    Ugh, Queen Anne’s Lace! That stuff is choking my garden. The previous owner must have grabbed some from the woods and planted it in the garden. It has a root system that I can’t keep up with! That and Yarrow! Very invasive plants!

    The clover is pretty but attracts bees in my yard. So you have to walk carefully! Such a pretty flower though!

    Tiger Lilies are the ones that grow along the road side. Day Lilies are the ones you purchase at the garden center. For some reason if you try to transplant the Tiger Lilies they always die as soon as you dig them up. My mom had that problem. So be extra careful. If you lived closer I’d love to share some of my garden with you. Day Lilies, Hostas, Yarrow, Black Eyed Susans….I have a TON of stuff!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Queen Anne’s Lace is certainly prolific. Its extensive root system probably helps retard erosion. IIRC, I used to see gobs of this stuff around the shoreline of the lake my grandparents lived on.

      Thanks for clarifying on the difference between tiger and day lilies. I’ve seen orange day lilies at the store and would be satisfied with that!

    2. Joelle Avatar

      I’m new on the scene, but am on the hunt for day lilies. I’ll probably hit some country in SE MIchigan as they do grow everywhere. I have a hillside on both sides of my house and don’t want to weed wack. Its much to steep up close to the house to mow although I mow as close as I can. I’m thinking that if I can plant some day lilies, eventually they will take over. Right now its unsightly grass.

      1. Jim Grey Avatar

        You should be able to find plenty of it growing by the roadside! An easy transplant.

  4. Keith Milsark Avatar
    Keith Milsark

    When my dad was growing up in Michigan, Queen Anne’s Lace was known as “wild carrots”, and they were considered a weed.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Yes, definitely a weed. Most of what you see along the roadside is a weed, actually!

  5. davidvanilla Avatar

    I think the first one is crown vetch. It is frequently used as ground cover along state highways. I’ve lots of tiger lilies. They and yarrow will take over the yard.

    1. Jim Avatar

      A quick Google search reveals that the first photo is indeed crown vetch. Thanks for clearing that up! If tiger lilies take over the yard, maybe I don’t want them then!

      1. davidvanilla Avatar

        Oh, the tiger lilies are pretty; one simply has to dig some out occasionally. The yarrow, though, I don’t know what to do. I hate herbicides.

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