This week, I'm looking at more flowers that grow in the open--in fields, on the edges of the driveway, and in disturbed areas. Several new flowers have just opened up in the last week or two on the drive that leads down into our gravel pit--you can't get more disturbed than that. This sweet little flower is yellow, or palmate, hop clover (Trifolium aureus).
Another clover among the several that grow in that gravelly area is the alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum). I love its pink-tinged flowers. Clovers are in the pea family.
Newly blooming in the last week or so in the same gravelly areas is the common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), a fragrant medicinal. I was surprised to see yarrow is in the Asteraceae or composite family. The flowers don't appear to look like your typical sunflower. A good reminder that this large family has a great deal of diversity.
This tiny flower grows close to the ground and is easy to overlook, but has lovely pale lavender flowers, the common speedwell (Veronica officinalis). Speedwells are members of the plantain family.
When I first saw the pale-yellow flowers of this plant, I thought "evening primrose." But when I crouched down to take a picture, I thought, "Why does this evening primrose have five petals?" And then I looked at the leaves, palmately divided with serrated edges on the leaflets. Ahh, of course, not an evening primrose at all, but a cinquefoil. This one is sulphur cinquefoil, (Potentilla recta).
Its relative, the much smaller common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex), makes its home throughout our yard and gardens. Notice how the leaves look a bit like strawberry leaves with two extra leaflets. Cinquefoils, like strawberries, are members of the rose family.
Our field along the road is a wet meadow, with large patches of standing water most springs and into the summer. Those wet areas usually abound with blue flag, or iris. But this year has been so dry (up until this week, which has been a bit too wet for my taste), that only the very lowest spots had any water in them Sunday, after several hours of pouring rain. As a result, we have very few blue flag (Iris versicolor).
This one was growing in a different area, and I'm not sure if it's slender blue iris (Iris prismatica), or if it just looks different because something has been nibbling its petals. Unfortunately I did not take a good look at the leaves--I was too entranced by the flowers, and the goldenrod crab spider hanging out on it. These spiders have the ability to change their color between yellow and white, depending on the color of the flower they are on. I guess purple is not in their repetoir. Iris are in the Iridaceae, or iris, family.
And finally, not a flower, but a little butterfly (another Harris' checkerspot) hanging out, drying his wings after the rain.
What wildflowers are you seeing this week?