Wildflowers with Wow

Wildflowers appeared later than usual this year.  But they must have loved the extra cold winter because they are plentiful and stunningly beautiful.

In a field close to the house, Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) have exploded.  A native of the U.S., it’s a signature wildflower in much of Texas.

With their unique petal color and shape, they’re easy to recognize.

Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) is another prominent wildflower in fields and roadsides in the spring.

This is scattered in one section of the field, but I can’t identify it.

The white flowers up by the barn have never been this wide spread before.  The cold and the rain has made everything come to life.

White Milkwort (Polygala alba) is the plant in the previous picture.  They’re rather small and not too impressive until you focus on them.  I guess that’s true of many things in life.

I think this is Navajo Tea (Thelesperma simplicifolium).  On tall, slim stems, they sway back and forth.  No foliage can be seen.  Some places they grow right out of caliche.

The strong colors of Prairie Coneflower or Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera) make it a beauty.

This is probably Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) which is a low growing daisy that loves heat, high alkaline soil, and rocky areas.  This daisy doesn’t do well in most landscapes because they get overwatered.

Hidden down low on the grown are tiny little flowers that I can’t find in any of my wildflower books.

Another tiny one with flowers about one half an inch across.

The petals of Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron modestus) look like fringe.

The ubiquitous Prickly Pear Cactus is a bane to farmers and ranchers.  It’s exists in nature only in the western hemisphere.

Sweet William or Prairie Verbena (Verbena bipinnatifida) is a lovely low growing plant.  In drier years, it’s just about the only wildflower that hasn’t been seeded that grows on our land.

Out on the county road, a bouquet of flowers grow on the roadsides.

 

Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) looks like Queen Anne’s Lace but when touched, it leaves a sticky substance on your hand.  If it gets into the garden, it becomes very invasive.

Here, it’s growing among the leaves of a young Redbud tree.

This briar sometimes grows up into oak trees.  The tiny spikes tear up your hands.  Sometimes it causes a rash.

The yellow flowers could be Missouri Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa).  The black caterpillar has been everywhere this year.  I don’t know what it is, but many people have suffered a severe sting with pain lasting a week.

Prickly Pear can spread into huge clumps and are difficult to eradicate.  Nature provides the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love wildflowers.  Their abundance this year has turned the countryside into scenic paintings.

If you can identify any of the flowers that I can’t, please tell me in a comment or correct any that I have mislabeled.

“Love is like wildflowers…it’s often found in the most unlikely places.”  unknown

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