Roadside Wildflowers

My sister Peg was walking up her quite rural road in Maine and noticed wildflowers along the roadside. She enjoyed their beauty and wanted to share, so sent these wonderful pictures along, and I am forwarding them to you!

Thank you, Peg!

St. John’s wort (Hypericun perforatum), which is native to Eurasia but has spread all over the world. It is considered a pesky weed in most countries.
Large hop clover or golden clover (Trifolium aureum). Not native to the US but has naturalized here.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), in the Aster family. Native to North American and Europe. Our local populations could be the native, the European, or a hybrid of them both. Only a DNA analysis can tell.
Bird’s foot trefoil (Lotos corniculatus), in the Pea family. Non-native, and considered invasive in some agricultural settings, as it is hard to remove once established.
Heal-all or self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), in the Mint family. Native and edible as a vegetable or as a tea.
Whorled loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifoloa). Native, and not a problem like purple loosestrife.

After I admired the flowers and the great photography, I wanted to identify the plants, and I found it easy and fun. I have been using the Picture This app on my iPhone; it has worked well for me and identified these six plants. But I just learned about a new feature right in the iPhone to do image searches and identify plants, so I tried that too. If you click on a plant picture in an album or in an email, at the bottom will be an icon with a small “i” in a circle and two little stars on the upper left. Click on it, then click “Look up plant” and it will return a page identifying the plant, giving a paragraph about it, and linking to a Wikipedia article. It had no trouble with these plants either. This could be a nice quick way to identify plants, but all plant-identification apps have trouble with some plants, so I’m going to keep my apps and keep testing their abilities.

Of these six plants, I have seen all but the large hop clover and the whorled loosestrife on Cape Cod – and by “Cape Cod” I really mean in my yard. The heal-all is one of the small flowers that grow in my lawn, and I just noticed it in bloom this week. It is pretty amazing that once you know about wildflowers, you notice them more. Have you seen these or other wildflowers this summer?

One comment

  1. Hi, Cathy. I loved this post! And I’m delighted to know about the plant identification feature on the iPhone. I just checked mine out and it works!! Hooray!

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