Fall Flowers - Roadsides - Blue, Purple, and Green

These flowers bloom between September and late November.
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 <strong>New England Aster</strong>
<em>Aster novae-angliae</em> /Aster Family<br>
This is one of more than 30 species of Asters in Tennessee. It has very dark purple ray flowers (petals). It is a common roadside flower in late September and October.
...

New England Aster Aster novae-angliae /Aster Family
This is one of more than 30 species of Asters in Tennessee. It has very dark purple ray flowers (petals). It is a common roadside flower in late September and October. ...

New England Aster Aster novae-angliae /Aster Family
This is one of more than 30 species of Asters in Tennessee. It has very dark purple ray flowers (petals). It is a common roadside flower in late September and October. Perennial Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP
7721
2 <strong>Purple-stemmed Aster</strong>
<em>Aster puniceus</em> / Aster Family
Near Flag Pond, TN
October 8, 2006<br>
Asters are a real pain to identify, there are so many of them and they look a lot alike! The purple stems of this one  helps make id...

Purple-stemmed Aster Aster puniceus / Aster Family Near Flag Pond, TN October 8, 2006
Asters are a real pain to identify, there are so many of them and they look a lot alike! The purple stems of this one helps make id...

Purple-stemmed Aster Aster puniceus / Aster Family Near Flag Pond, TN October 8, 2006
Asters are a real pain to identify, there are so many of them and they look a lot alike! The purple stems of this one helps make identification a bit easier. It is another common roadside wildflower.
2513
3 <strong>Aster Heart-leaved</strong>
<em>Aster cordifolius</em> / Aster Family
Roan Mountain, TN / NC
October 9, 2006<br>
This is a very common autumn roadside wildflower. This aster has many small flowers, the center disk flowers turn dark reddish-...

Aster Heart-leaved Aster cordifolius / Aster Family Roan Mountain, TN / NC October 9, 2006
This is a very common autumn roadside wildflower. This aster has many small flowers, the center disk flowers turn dark reddish-...

Aster Heart-leaved Aster cordifolius / Aster Family Roan Mountain, TN / NC October 9, 2006
This is a very common autumn roadside wildflower. This aster has many small flowers, the center disk flowers turn dark reddish-purple with age.
2573
4 <strong>Curtiss' Aster</strong>
<em>Aster curtissii</em> /Aster Family<br>
I found this aster blooming at Purchase Knob in the Smokies in October 2003.
Perennial
<u>Where seen</u>: Great Smoky Mountains NP

Curtiss' Aster Aster curtissii /Aster Family
I found this aster blooming at Purchase Knob in the Smokies in October 2003. Perennial Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP

Curtiss' Aster Aster curtissii /Aster Family
I found this aster blooming at Purchase Knob in the Smokies in October 2003. Perennial Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP
2556
5 <strong>Tall Ironweed</strong>
<em>Vernonia altissima</em> /Aster Family<br>
The small purple flowers add beautiful color to the fields and roadsides during late September and early October.
Perennial
<u>Where seen</u>: Oak Ridge Greenways, Frozen ...

Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima /Aster Family
The small purple flowers add beautiful color to the fields and roadsides during late September and early October. Perennial Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Frozen ...

Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima /Aster Family
The small purple flowers add beautiful color to the fields and roadsides during late September and early October. Perennial Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Frozen Head SP, Norris Dam SP, Cove Lake SP, widespread
2510
6 <strong>Spotted Joe Pye Weed</strong>
<em>Eupatorium maculatum</em> /Aster Family<br>
Joe Pye was an Indian medicine man. The leaves of this plant were once used to treat lung ailments. Now we can enjoy it for its pale mauve flowers.
Perennial
<u>W...

Spotted Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium maculatum /Aster Family
Joe Pye was an Indian medicine man. The leaves of this plant were once used to treat lung ailments. Now we can enjoy it for its pale mauve flowers. Perennial W...

Spotted Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium maculatum /Aster Family
Joe Pye was an Indian medicine man. The leaves of this plant were once used to treat lung ailments. Now we can enjoy it for its pale mauve flowers. Perennial Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP, Oak Ridge Greenways
3025
7 <strong>Spotted Joe Pye Weed close-up</strong><br>
This flower is a composite, note the tiny individual flowers.

Spotted Joe Pye Weed close-up
This flower is a composite, note the tiny individual flowers.

Spotted Joe Pye Weed close-up
This flower is a composite, note the tiny individual flowers.
1402
8 <strong>Florida Blue Lettuce</strong> close-up
<em>Lactuca floridana</em> /Aster Family<br>
These plants have sticky, milky sap. 
Annual or Biennial
<u>Where seen</u>: Big Ridge SP, Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP

Florida Blue Lettuce close-up Lactuca floridana /Aster Family
These plants have sticky, milky sap. Annual or Biennial Where seen: Big Ridge SP, Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP

Florida Blue Lettuce close-up Lactuca floridana /Aster Family
These plants have sticky, milky sap. Annual or Biennial Where seen: Big Ridge SP, Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP
1589
9 <strong>Curled Mint</strong>
<em>Mentha crispa*</em> /Mint Family<br>
This plant can become weedy in some areas. It looks like a type of dark-stemmed cultivated Coleus at first glance. It is, in fact, closely related to Coleus. I found these plants g...

Curled Mint Mentha crispa* /Mint Family
This plant can become weedy in some areas. It looks like a type of dark-stemmed cultivated Coleus at first glance. It is, in fact, closely related to Coleus. I found these plants g...

Curled Mint Mentha crispa* /Mint Family
This plant can become weedy in some areas. It looks like a type of dark-stemmed cultivated Coleus at first glance. It is, in fact, closely related to Coleus. I found these plants growing at Norris Dam State Park in early September. Perennial? Where seen: Norris Dam SP, Oak Ridge Greenways
1566
10 <strong>Blue Curls</strong> 
<em>Trichostema dichotomum</em> /Mint Family<br> 
I was thrilled to find this beautiful flower blooming in Frozen Head State Park in early September. It has long, curving, protruding stamens that give the plant the common...

Blue Curls Trichostema dichotomum /Mint Family
I was thrilled to find this beautiful flower blooming in Frozen Head State Park in early September. It has long, curving, protruding stamens that give the plant the common...

Blue Curls Trichostema dichotomum /Mint Family
I was thrilled to find this beautiful flower blooming in Frozen Head State Park in early September. It has long, curving, protruding stamens that give the plant the common name, Blue Curls. I have seen this flower in books and have wanted to see it in the wild for many years. Annual Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP, Frozen Head SP
2726
11 <strong>Basil Thyme</strong> 
<em>Calamintha nepeta*</em> /Mint Family<br> 
I found this plant blooming at the base of Ozone Falls on Nov. 5, 2004. The wind from the spray made it challenging to take the picture! This plant has fine hairs on the stem...

Basil Thyme Calamintha nepeta* /Mint Family
I found this plant blooming at the base of Ozone Falls on Nov. 5, 2004. The wind from the spray made it challenging to take the picture! This plant has fine hairs on the stem...

Basil Thyme Calamintha nepeta* /Mint Family
I found this plant blooming at the base of Ozone Falls on Nov. 5, 2004. The wind from the spray made it challenging to take the picture! This plant has fine hairs on the stems and leaves. The leaves have a strong aroma. Like many other "weeds," this plant blooms long after the native plants have gone to seed. Perennial Where seen: Ozone Falls SNA, Warriors' Path SP {Formerly known as: Satureja calamintha}
2450
12 <strong>Winged Loosestrife</strong> 
<em>Lythrum alatum</em> /Loosestrife Family
<span style="color: blue;">Aquatic</span> <br>
This plant grows in damp areas. It does grow in east Tennessee, however I found this plant in northern Alabama when I rel...

Winged Loosestrife Lythrum alatum /Loosestrife Family Aquatic
This plant grows in damp areas. It does grow in east Tennessee, however I found this plant in northern Alabama when I rel...

Winged Loosestrife Lythrum alatum /Loosestrife Family Aquatic
This plant grows in damp areas. It does grow in east Tennessee, however I found this plant in northern Alabama when I released the Monarch butterfly at the rest stop! This plant is a native and not invasive like the Purple Loosestrife.
2090
13 <strong>Stiff Gentian</strong> 
<em>Gentiana quinquefolia</em>
Roan Mountain, TN/NC
October 9, 2006<br>
These pretty purple flowers add small patches of color in the high mountain meadows in September and October.

Stiff Gentian Gentiana quinquefolia Roan Mountain, TN/NC October 9, 2006
These pretty purple flowers add small patches of color in the high mountain meadows in September and October.

Stiff Gentian Gentiana quinquefolia Roan Mountain, TN/NC October 9, 2006
These pretty purple flowers add small patches of color in the high mountain meadows in September and October.
1291
14 <strong>Closed Bottle Gentian</strong>
<em>Gentiana andrewsii</em>
Roan Mountain TN/NC
October 9, 2006<br>
This pretty gentian blooms high in the mountains of the southern Appalachians in the fall. The leaves are broader than the Linear-leaf Gentia...

Closed Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Roan Mountain TN/NC October 9, 2006
This pretty gentian blooms high in the mountains of the southern Appalachians in the fall. The leaves are broader than the Linear-leaf Gentia...

Closed Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Roan Mountain TN/NC October 9, 2006
This pretty gentian blooms high in the mountains of the southern Appalachians in the fall. The leaves are broader than the Linear-leaf Gentian. It is pollinated by bumblebees.
1711
15 <strong>Linear-leaved Gentian</strong> 
<em>Gentiana linearis</em> / Gentian family
Mt. Leconte - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
September 1, 2006<br>
These flowers are a beautiful, bright blue. They are a nice addition to the trail in the ear...

Linear-leaved Gentian Gentiana linearis / Gentian family Mt. Leconte - Great Smoky Mountains National Park September 1, 2006
These flowers are a beautiful, bright blue. They are a nice addition to the trail in the ear...

Linear-leaved Gentian Gentiana linearis / Gentian family Mt. Leconte - Great Smoky Mountains National Park September 1, 2006
These flowers are a beautiful, bright blue. They are a nice addition to the trail in the early fall when most of the wildflowers have gone dormant for the year. There was a grassy meadow at around 6000 feet in elevation that was covered in these plants. The petals are so tightly closed, it takes a large, strong insect to be able to pollinate it. (See next photo) Perennial Where seen: high elevations of Great Smoky Mountains
2012
16 <strong>Linear-leaved Gentian and</strong> bee

Linear-leaved Gentian and bee

Linear-leaved Gentian and bee 1030
17 <strong>Monk's Hood</strong>
<em>Aconitum uncinatum</em> / Buttercup Family
Mount Leconte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
September 1, 2006<br>
I hiked 5-1/2 miles up the Alum Bluff Trail in the Smokies in hopes of seeing 3 wildflowers --- thi...

Monk's Hood Aconitum uncinatum / Buttercup Family Mount Leconte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park September 1, 2006
I hiked 5-1/2 miles up the Alum Bluff Trail in the Smokies in hopes of seeing 3 wildflowers --- thi...

Monk's Hood Aconitum uncinatum / Buttercup Family Mount Leconte, Great Smoky Mountains National Park September 1, 2006
I hiked 5-1/2 miles up the Alum Bluff Trail in the Smokies in hopes of seeing 3 wildflowers --- this was one of them! Monk's Hood gets its name from the unusual shape of the petals. I saw these blooming in front of the dining hall at the Mount Leconte Lodge. Like all Aconitums, this plant is poisonous, it contains aconitine. The plant is also known as "wolfsbane"; any plant with "bane" in the name is probably poisonous. Two other species are common in Alaska, when we were there in 2004, we were told to avoid eating any bright purple flowers (as if we were going to eat the wildflowers!). Perennial Where seen: high elevations of Great Smoky Mountains
2404
18 <strong>Monkshood</strong> close-up
Note the green, 3-parted seed pods.
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=59.265881,-92.636719&spn=23.732821,71.015625&z=4&om=1&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.0004429ba882ac4533c89&iwloc=000442...

Monkshood close-up Note the green, 3-parted seed pods.

Monkshood close-up Note the green, 3-parted seed pods. map... 2724
19 <strong>Great Ragweed</strong>
<em>Ambrosia trifida</em> /Aster Family<br>
This is the plant that gives the beautiful insect-pollinated Goldenrod a "bad" name because they bloom at the same time. Ragweed probably got its name because people once had ...

Great Ragweed Ambrosia trifida /Aster Family
This is the plant that gives the beautiful insect-pollinated Goldenrod a "bad" name because they bloom at the same time. Ragweed probably got its name because people once had ...

Great Ragweed Ambrosia trifida /Aster Family
This is the plant that gives the beautiful insect-pollinated Goldenrod a "bad" name because they bloom at the same time. Ragweed probably got its name because people once had to use a "rag" to take care of the allergy symptoms this plant causes! The male flowers produce millions of microscopic, spiky, spherical spores which are spread by the wind. The small, light green female flowers are barely visible in this picture. Great Ragweed can grow over 6 feet in height. I call it "Mother Nature's Revenge," it likes to grow in places disturbed by man! Annual Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP, widespread
2298
20 <strong>Great Ragweed</strong> (close-up of male flowers)<br>
These innocent looking little yellow male flowers are the "bad guys" of Autumn; they dump out the allergy inducing pollen grains. Ragweeds are in the Aster Family, but I can't see any compo...

Great Ragweed (close-up of male flowers)
These innocent looking little yellow male flowers are the "bad guys" of Autumn; they dump out the allergy inducing pollen grains. Ragweeds are in the Aster Family, but I can't see any compo...

Great Ragweed (close-up of male flowers)
These innocent looking little yellow male flowers are the "bad guys" of Autumn; they dump out the allergy inducing pollen grains. Ragweeds are in the Aster Family, but I can't see any composite-like characteristics in these monoecious flowers! I have asked several botanists about this and none have answered the question to my satisfaction!
1296
21 <strong>Great Ragweed</strong> (close-up of the female flowers)<br>
The thin white "V" shaped pistils above the small leaves are the tiny "targets" that must be hit by pollen grains from another plant. No wonder the male flowers have to put out so muc...

Great Ragweed (close-up of the female flowers)
The thin white "V" shaped pistils above the small leaves are the tiny "targets" that must be hit by pollen grains from another plant. No wonder the male flowers have to put out so muc...

Great Ragweed (close-up of the female flowers)
The thin white "V" shaped pistils above the small leaves are the tiny "targets" that must be hit by pollen grains from another plant. No wonder the male flowers have to put out so much pollen!
3091
22 <strong>Common Ragweed</strong>
<em>Ambrosia artemisifolia</em><br>
This plant has attractive, finely dissected fern-like leaves, but don't let it fool you into leaving it in your garden! Even though it is smaller than the Great Ragweed, it is just a...

Common Ragweed Ambrosia artemisifolia
This plant has attractive, finely dissected fern-like leaves, but don't let it fool you into leaving it in your garden! Even though it is smaller than the Great Ragweed, it is just a...

Common Ragweed Ambrosia artemisifolia
This plant has attractive, finely dissected fern-like leaves, but don't let it fool you into leaving it in your garden! Even though it is smaller than the Great Ragweed, it is just as capable of making you sneeze if you suffer from allergies. Linnaeus, the "Father of Scientific Nomenclature," must have had quite an interesting sense of humor; he gave the ragweeds the genus name, "Ambrosia," the food of the Greek gods! Annual Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warrior's Path SP, Oak Ridge, widespread
2907
23 <strong>Lance-leaf Ragweed</strong>
<em>Ambrosia bidentata</em> /Aster Family<br>
This is the smallest of the 3 Ragweed species in our area. It is just as potent with pollen though. If you look closely, you'll see pollen on the leaves!
Annual 
<u>W...

Lance-leaf Ragweed Ambrosia bidentata /Aster Family
This is the smallest of the 3 Ragweed species in our area. It is just as potent with pollen though. If you look closely, you'll see pollen on the leaves! Annual W...

Lance-leaf Ragweed Ambrosia bidentata /Aster Family
This is the smallest of the 3 Ragweed species in our area. It is just as potent with pollen though. If you look closely, you'll see pollen on the leaves! Annual Where seen: Norris Dam SP
2401
24 <strong>Mugwort</strong>
<em>Artemisia vulgaris*</em> /Aster Family
<span style="color: red;">(INN) Rank 2</span><br>
I had seen this plant in the garden (and pulled it up in vain!) in the front of my school for years. The leaves look and smell like...

Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris* /Aster Family (INN) Rank 2
I had seen this plant in the garden (and pulled it up in vain!) in the front of my school for years. The leaves look and smell like...

Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris* /Aster Family (INN) Rank 2
I had seen this plant in the garden (and pulled it up in vain!) in the front of my school for years. The leaves look and smell like garden chrysanthemums, but I never saw any flowers. I finally saw it in bloom in late October. I noticed that the small flowers were very attractive to Yellow Jacket wasps. It is a noxious weed that is very difficult to eradicate. The lower leaves look like chrysanthemums and the upper ones are three-parted like a bird's foot. Mugwort is in the same genus as Sagebrush that grows in the U.S. western states. There aren't many wildflowers that I would call ugly, but these will never win any beauty contests! Perennial Where seen: Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains NP
3320
25 <strong>Prairie Tea</strong>
<em>Croton monanthogynus</em> /Spurge Family<br>
I don't know which is worse, trying to type out some of these species names or trying to pronounce them! This plant was growing in the crack of a sidewalk. It was a new one...

Prairie Tea Croton monanthogynus /Spurge Family
I don't know which is worse, trying to type out some of these species names or trying to pronounce them! This plant was growing in the crack of a sidewalk. It was a new one...

Prairie Tea Croton monanthogynus /Spurge Family
I don't know which is worse, trying to type out some of these species names or trying to pronounce them! This plant was growing in the crack of a sidewalk. It was a new one to me, but a quick look at the flowers let me know it was in the Spurge Family (remember the "superior ovaries"?!). I don't know if anyone on the prairie ever made a tea out of it, but if so, they must have been pretty desperate; many Euphorbias contain a sticky, white, latex-laden sap and are poisonous. Annual Where seen: Big Ridge SP
1838
26 <strong>"Toothed-leaf Poinsettia"</strong> (my name for it!)
<em>Euphorbia dentata</em> /Spurge Family<br>
This plant is listed in my 3-inch thick <u>Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas</u> under the subgenus Poinsettia as <em>Euphorbia den...

"Toothed-leaf Poinsettia" (my name for it!) Euphorbia dentata /Spurge Family
This plant is listed in my 3-inch thick Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas under the subgenus Poinsettia as Euphorbia den...

"Toothed-leaf Poinsettia" (my name for it!) Euphorbia dentata /Spurge Family
This plant is listed in my 3-inch thick Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas under the subgenus Poinsettia as Euphorbia dentata, it has no common name listed. Like many other Euphorbias, it has superior ovaries. Perennial? Where seen: Oak Ridge
1196
27 <strong>Cocklebur; Clotbur flowers</strong>
<em>Xanthium strumarium glabrum</em> /Aster Family
Height: 1-6 feet
September 18, 2005<br>
Anyone with a long-haired dog who has had a close encounter with the seeds of this plant will not soon forget it!...

Cocklebur; Clotbur flowers Xanthium strumarium glabrum /Aster Family Height: 1-6 feet September 18, 2005
Anyone with a long-haired dog who has had a close encounter with the seeds of this plant will not soon forget it!...

Cocklebur; Clotbur flowers Xanthium strumarium glabrum /Aster Family Height: 1-6 feet September 18, 2005
Anyone with a long-haired dog who has had a close encounter with the seeds of this plant will not soon forget it! These hooked seeds are said to be precursor of the wonderful invention called "Hook and Loop Fastener" (a.k.a. Velcro tm. ). This is another of those weird monoecious Composites! The male (staminate) flowers are the little off-white clusters, the female (pistillate) flowers are the burs. The burs contain the seeds which are spread by animals. The seeds and seedlings are poisonous to swine, rodents, cattle, and humans, they contain the toxin carboxyatractyloside. Where seen: widespread Formerly known as: Xanthium chinense
1957

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