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.
These are coreopsis, I think. I don’t think I’ve ever seen speckled ones before.
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.
As I toured the Dixie Highway in southern Indiana, flowers flecked the shore of a little roadside pond. These white wildflowers were everywhere.
I never get through a road-trip season without seeing some Queen Anne’s Lace. The shore was thick with them.
Here’s some red clover, found along the road near the pond.
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!
Also check out the roadside flowers I photographed in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.