The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

10 Wildflowers Blooming by the Road

It is the time of year to keep one eye on the side of the road -- the see what wildflower is in bloom and where you can find it.  I have been looking and here is a quick list I put together of 10 that I am seeing now in Georgia just a little bit south of Atlanta.  Depending upon where you live and when you read this -- things will be different...
  1. Blackberries  Those beautiful arcs of bright white blooms are blackberries.  There seems to be an abundance of the blooms this year. Blackberry blossoms are good nectar producers.  The berries are well-known for their antioxidant properties.   hmm, last year I made Dandelion Wine -- this year maybe wine from blackberries.
  2. Purple Verbena  This flower is so pretty.  As you drive along you spot a nice low growing splash of purple right on the side of the road.
  3. Oxeye Daisy  This has to be my favorite flower of all time.  The simple Oxeye Daisy is so elegant on its tall slender stem.  I have read that Native Americans used a weak tea made from the oxeye daisy to sooth a fever.
  4. Horrible Thistle  So harsh and so easy to spot whether it is in a cow pasture or by the road.  The heavy duty looking plant with that bold magenta bloom stands out like the sore thumb you will get if you grab it in the wrong spot.
  5. False Dandelion  Not your Common Dandelion -- this one is on a tall slender stem, very much like the stem of the Oxeye Daisy.  The bloom does look like the other Dandy.
  6. Common Dandelion  This is the one with the brilliant yellow blooms and those seed heads filled with tiny parachuting seeds.  The Common Dandelion's stem grows about 10 inches high and the False Dandelion's stem can grow to about 3 feet high.  About this time last year I posted a blog about making Dandelion wine from my great granddaddy's recipe. 
  7. Hastate-Leaved Dock  This plant is seen just about everywhere.  It grows in groups, spreading patches.  The reddish haze in a field is this plant.  The stems are clustered and can grow as tall as 3 feet.  
  8. Bluets  Tiny perennials that grow to 6 inches or less.  Four pale blue petals form the bloom.  The middle of the bloom is a yellow eye.  These are very delicate, small, and pretty.
  9. Crimson Clover (OK I have that song stuck in my head now too -- the Joan Jett version) is pretty and a striking deep red to see along the side of the road.  This is an important plant.  The plant is used to control erosion in many places.  The clover produces a lot of seed that will spread or can be collected easily for other areas.  There have been studies to determine that the main pollenators of crimson clover are honeybees.  We have all heard about the disappearing honeybee -- so this is good news and will help keep them around.
  10. Blue Toadflax  Another one of those plants responsible for that haze of color you see along the roadside or in a field.  Taken one by one these are tiny, delicate blue blooms on tall, slender stems.  When they grow in large groups -- the effect is beautiful.  I am thinking of one field I saw recently.  The red barn sets back from the road and in the field in front of it are clouds of blue here and there.  Very pretty.
One man's weed is another man's wildflower.  The photo on the blog today is of a blackberry bloom from my backyard taken yesterday with my Lensbaby Composer using the macro attachment.  The aperture was f/4.


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