Spring Flowers - Roadsides - Pink, Red, Maroon, Brown

These flowers bloom between late March and late May.
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 <strong>Nodding Thistle</strong>
<span style="color: red;">(INN)</span> /Aster Family
Height: 1' to 7'
May 26, 2005<br>
Ooohhh, thistles AND kudzu! A bad combination of nasty non-natives! I found these growing on a hillside in Oak Ridge in May. The...

Nodding Thistle (INN) /Aster Family Height: 1' to 7' May 26, 2005
Ooohhh, thistles AND kudzu! A bad combination of nasty non-natives! I found these growing on a hillside in Oak Ridge in May. The...

Nodding Thistle (INN) /Aster Family Height: 1' to 7' May 26, 2005
Ooohhh, thistles AND kudzu! A bad combination of nasty non-natives! I found these growing on a hillside in Oak Ridge in May. The flower on the right is a bud.
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2 <strong>Nodding Thistle; close-up</strong>
<em>Carduus nutans*</em> /Aster Family
<span style="color: red;">(INN) Rank 2</span><br>
This flower is pretty, but the leaves are terribly prickly. Farmers HATE thistles, they ruin their livestocks' fields...

Nodding Thistle; close-up Carduus nutans* /Aster Family (INN) Rank 2
This flower is pretty, but the leaves are terribly prickly. Farmers HATE thistles, they ruin their livestocks' fields...

Nodding Thistle; close-up Carduus nutans* /Aster Family (INN) Rank 2
This flower is pretty, but the leaves are terribly prickly. Farmers HATE thistles, they ruin their livestocks' fields. It is actually against the law to have this plant on your property to have this plant on your property in some states! When we were in Alaska, we saw signs along the highways instructing people to report any thistles to the Agriculture Department. Thistles are composite flowers, they in the Aster family. Note the purple pollen on the anthers. Despite their nasty reputation, they do have their redeeming qualities --- they provide nectar for butterflies, bees, and other insects and the tiny seeds are favorites of small birds like goldfinches. Biennial Where seen: Everywhere! Great Smoky Mountains NP
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3 <strong>Cudweed</strong> plant growth habit
<em>Gnaphalium purpureum</em> /Aster Family<br>
This plant is related to Rabbit Tobacco, but the leaves look a bit like Plaintain-leaved Pussytoes at a quick glance. The flowers are not very conspicuous or ...

Cudweed plant growth habit Gnaphalium purpureum /Aster Family
This plant is related to Rabbit Tobacco, but the leaves look a bit like Plaintain-leaved Pussytoes at a quick glance. The flowers are not very conspicuous or ...

Cudweed plant growth habit Gnaphalium purpureum /Aster Family
This plant is related to Rabbit Tobacco, but the leaves look a bit like Plaintain-leaved Pussytoes at a quick glance. The flowers are not very conspicuous or interesting. It is a common weed. I found these blooming in Oak Ridge in May. Close-up of flowers following. Annual Where seen: Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains NP
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4 <strong>Cudweed</strong> - close-up
May 14, 2005

Cudweed - close-up May 14, 2005

Cudweed - close-up May 14, 2005 1061
5 <strong>Red Clover</strong>
<em>Trifolium pratense*</em> /Pea Family
Height: 6" to 16"
May 31, 2005<br>
Look at the small individual pink flowers, note the yellow pollen-bearing anthers. Clovers, being in the Legume or Pea family, are nitrogen fixe...

Red Clover Trifolium pratense* /Pea Family Height: 6" to 16" May 31, 2005
Look at the small individual pink flowers, note the yellow pollen-bearing anthers. Clovers, being in the Legume or Pea family, are nitrogen fixe...

Red Clover Trifolium pratense* /Pea Family Height: 6" to 16" May 31, 2005
Look at the small individual pink flowers, note the yellow pollen-bearing anthers. Clovers, being in the Legume or Pea family, are nitrogen fixers. Bacteria found in nodules on the roots can take nitrogen from the air and store the compounds in the nodules. Farmers plant this clover to use as a natural fertilizer. Clovers are also a good nectar source for bees. "Trifolium" means "three leaves." These were blooming in Oak Ridge. This widespread, weedy clover blooms most of the warm months of the year. Perennial Where seen: Everywhere!
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6 <strong>Rabbit's-foot Clover</strong> 
<em>Trifolium arvense*</em>
June 16, 2007
These flowers were blooming in a field at Rarity Ridge. It is a non-native clover, it has a very distinctive fuzzy flower.

Rabbit's-foot Clover Trifolium arvense* June 16, 2007 These flowers were blooming in a field at Rarity Ridge. It is a non-native clover, it has a very distinctive fuzzy flower.

Rabbit's-foot Clover Trifolium arvense* June 16, 2007 These flowers were blooming in a field at Rarity Ridge. It is a non-native clover, it has a very distinctive fuzzy flower. 1677
7 <strong>Crown Vetch</strong>
<em>Coronilla varia*</em> /Pea Family
<span style="color: red;">(INN) Rank 2</span><br>
Crown vetch is planted along roadsides to help control erosion, however it has the tendency to spread to other areas. It is in the P...

Crown Vetch Coronilla varia* /Pea Family (INN) Rank 2
Crown vetch is planted along roadsides to help control erosion, however it has the tendency to spread to other areas. It is in the P...

Crown Vetch Coronilla varia* /Pea Family (INN) Rank 2
Crown vetch is planted along roadsides to help control erosion, however it has the tendency to spread to other areas. It is in the Pea Family. I found these in Oak Ridge in late May. Crown Vetch contains a poison called nitroglycoside, it is dangerous for horses to eat large amounts of it. Perennial Where seen:Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains NP, along highways in East Tennessee
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8 <strong>Spring Vetch</strong>
<em>Vicia sativa*</em>/Pea Family
<span style="color: red;">(INN) Rank 2</span><br>
This plant is in the Pea Family. Note how the tips of the leaves have thin tendrils that hold the vine onto other plants. I found these...

Spring Vetch Vicia sativa*/Pea Family (INN) Rank 2
This plant is in the Pea Family. Note how the tips of the leaves have thin tendrils that hold the vine onto other plants. I found these...

Spring Vetch Vicia sativa*/Pea Family (INN) Rank 2
This plant is in the Pea Family. Note how the tips of the leaves have thin tendrils that hold the vine onto other plants. I found these blooming in Oak Ridge along Edgemoor Road at the Haw Ridge parking area. Annual Where seen:Oak Ridge, Haw Ridge Greenway
1973
9 <strong>Spring Vetch</strong>- close-up
<em>Vicia sativa*</em> /Pea Family
<span style="color: red;">(INN) Rank 2</span>
April 22, 2005<br>
Note the ant on the stem. These plants have small, round, black "cups" on the stems that attract ants. These...

Spring Vetch- close-up Vicia sativa* /Pea Family (INN) Rank 2 April 22, 2005
Note the ant on the stem. These plants have small, round, black "cups" on the stems that attract ants. These...

Spring Vetch- close-up Vicia sativa* /Pea Family (INN) Rank 2 April 22, 2005
Note the ant on the stem. These plants have small, round, black "cups" on the stems that attract ants. These glands (extrafloral nectaries) protect the flowers from being entered by nectar-robbing ants. The seeds of Vicia species contain the tongue-twisting toxin beta-cyano-L-alanine. Annual Where seen:Oak Ridge, Haw Ridge Greenway
2747
10 <strong>Redbud Tree</strong>
<em>Cercis canadensis</em> /Pea Family<br>
These bloom in early April. Redbud trees are members of the Pea Family. Look closely at the individual flowers to see the wings, standard, and keel. Bees are strongly attracted t...

Redbud Tree Cercis canadensis /Pea Family
These bloom in early April. Redbud trees are members of the Pea Family. Look closely at the individual flowers to see the wings, standard, and keel. Bees are strongly attracted t...

Redbud Tree Cercis canadensis /Pea Family
These bloom in early April. Redbud trees are members of the Pea Family. Look closely at the individual flowers to see the wings, standard, and keel. Bees are strongly attracted to these flowers. I found these in Oak Ridge. Perennial - Tree Where seen:Oak Ridge, Haw Ridge Greenway, Frozen Head SP, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Big South Fork NRRA, Cherokee National Forest, Norris Dam SP, Big Ridge SP, Piney Falls, Warriors' Path SP
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11 <strong>Redbud</strong><br>
Redbud trees like to grow in full sun, so they are often seen along roadsides. Look for a beautiful showing in early April. They are especially lovely blooming when they bloom with dogwoods.

Redbud
Redbud trees like to grow in full sun, so they are often seen along roadsides. Look for a beautiful showing in early April. They are especially lovely blooming when they bloom with dogwoods.

Redbud
Redbud trees like to grow in full sun, so they are often seen along roadsides. Look for a beautiful showing in early April. They are especially lovely blooming when they bloom with dogwoods.
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12 <strong>Clammy Locust</strong>
<em>Robinia viscosa</em> /Pea Family<br>
These small trees (or large shrubs) have large pink pea-type flowers. They have sticky hairs on the twigs which are visible in this picture, <em>viscosa</em> means "sticky". I fo...

Clammy Locust Robinia viscosa /Pea Family
These small trees (or large shrubs) have large pink pea-type flowers. They have sticky hairs on the twigs which are visible in this picture, viscosa means "sticky". I fo...

Clammy Locust Robinia viscosa /Pea Family
These small trees (or large shrubs) have large pink pea-type flowers. They have sticky hairs on the twigs which are visible in this picture, viscosa means "sticky". I found these blooming along Edgemoor Road in Oak Ridge in early May. In June I noticed that the highway department had sprayed these bushes with herbicide, they were wilted and brown. :( Perennial - Tree Where seen:Oak Ridge
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13 <strong>Canada Garlic</strong>
<em>Allium canadense</em> /Lily Family<br>
I found this plant at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge in mid-May. It has very pale pink flowers. 
Perennial
<u>Where seen</u>: University of Tennessee Arbo...

Canada Garlic Allium canadense /Lily Family
I found this plant at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge in mid-May. It has very pale pink flowers. Perennial Where seen: University of Tennessee Arbo...

Canada Garlic Allium canadense /Lily Family
I found this plant at the University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge in mid-May. It has very pale pink flowers. Perennial Where seen: University of Tennessee Arboretum, Haw Ridge Greenway, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warrior's Path SP
2271
14 <strong>Carolina Cranesbill</strong>
<em>Geranium carolinianum</em> /Geranium Family<br>
This is a common yard weed. It has interesting beak-shaped seed pods which throw their seeds when they ripen and split. I found this one blooming in Oak Ridge in...

Carolina Cranesbill Geranium carolinianum /Geranium Family
This is a common yard weed. It has interesting beak-shaped seed pods which throw their seeds when they ripen and split. I found this one blooming in Oak Ridge in...

Carolina Cranesbill Geranium carolinianum /Geranium Family
This is a common yard weed. It has interesting beak-shaped seed pods which throw their seeds when they ripen and split. I found this one blooming in Oak Ridge in late April. Annual Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP, Widespread
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15 <strong>Meadow Cranesbill</strong>
<em>Geranium pratense</em> /Geranium Family<br>
This is a common yard weed (along with the dandelions, chickweed, blue field madder, corn salad, and speedwell in this picture!). It has interesting beak-shaped seed p...

Meadow Cranesbill Geranium pratense /Geranium Family
This is a common yard weed (along with the dandelions, chickweed, blue field madder, corn salad, and speedwell in this picture!). It has interesting beak-shaped seed p...

Meadow Cranesbill Geranium pratense /Geranium Family
This is a common yard weed (along with the dandelions, chickweed, blue field madder, corn salad, and speedwell in this picture!). It has interesting beak-shaped seed pods which throw their seeds when they ripen and split. I found this one blooming in Oak Ridge in late April. Close-up of flower follows. Annual Where seen: Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP, Widespread
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16 <strong>Meadow Cranesbill</strong> close-up
May 26, 2005

Meadow Cranesbill close-up May 26, 2005

Meadow Cranesbill close-up May 26, 2005 1121
17 <strong>Storksbill</strong>
<em>Erodium cicutarium</em> /Geranium Family<br>
Like the Cranesbill, the Storksbill is a member of the Geranium family. The common name comes from the very long, sharp-pointed seed pod. Note the finely-cut, fern-like leav...

Storksbill Erodium cicutarium /Geranium Family
Like the Cranesbill, the Storksbill is a member of the Geranium family. The common name comes from the very long, sharp-pointed seed pod. Note the finely-cut, fern-like leav...

Storksbill Erodium cicutarium /Geranium Family
Like the Cranesbill, the Storksbill is a member of the Geranium family. The common name comes from the very long, sharp-pointed seed pod. Note the finely-cut, fern-like leaves which differ from the Cranesbill leaves. This plant was growing in Powell, TN in late April. Annual? Where seen:Oak Ridge, Powell, Tellico Plains, Great Smoky Mountains NP
1822
18 <strong>Showy Evening Primrose</strong>
<em>Oenothera speciosa*</em> /Evening Primrose Family
May 14, 2005<br>
These large, lovely pink flowers are oftenyseen growing along the sides of roads. The yellow nectar guides are easily visible in these flo...

Showy Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa* /Evening Primrose Family May 14, 2005
These large, lovely pink flowers are oftenyseen growing along the sides of roads. The yellow nectar guides are easily visible in these flo...

Showy Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa* /Evening Primrose Family May 14, 2005
These large, lovely pink flowers are oftenyseen growing along the sides of roads. The yellow nectar guides are easily visible in these flowers. I found this one blooming in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station in Oak Ridge in May. Perennial Where seen:Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountain NP, Warriors' Path SP, widespread
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19 <strong>Smooth Beardtongue</strong>
<em>Penstemon calycosus</em> /Snapdragon Family<br>
These were growing along the highway near the Smokies near Walland, TN in mid-May. Beardtongues are in the Snapdragon family.
Perennial
<u>Where seen</u>:Wallan...

Smooth Beardtongue Penstemon calycosus /Snapdragon Family
These were growing along the highway near the Smokies near Walland, TN in mid-May. Beardtongues are in the Snapdragon family. Perennial Where seen:Wallan...

Smooth Beardtongue Penstemon calycosus /Snapdragon Family
These were growing along the highway near the Smokies near Walland, TN in mid-May. Beardtongues are in the Snapdragon family. Perennial Where seen:Walland, Warriors' Path SP
2336
20 <strong>Hairy Phlox</strong>
<em>Phlox amoena</em> /Phlox Family
Height: To 12"
May 1, 2005<br>
These pretty magenta flowers brighten up the roadsides along the Cumberland Plateau. I saw them blooming in Rhea, Cumberland and Van Buren counties. 
P...

Hairy Phlox Phlox amoena /Phlox Family Height: To 12" May 1, 2005
These pretty magenta flowers brighten up the roadsides along the Cumberland Plateau. I saw them blooming in Rhea, Cumberland and Van Buren counties. P...

Hairy Phlox Phlox amoena /Phlox Family Height: To 12" May 1, 2005
These pretty magenta flowers brighten up the roadsides along the Cumberland Plateau. I saw them blooming in Rhea, Cumberland and Van Buren counties. Perennial Where seen: Cumberland Plateau
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21 <strong>Sheep Sorrel</strong>
<em>Rumex acetosella</em> /Smartweed Family
May 2, 2005<br>
This is a common roadside weed. The flowers are very tiny, they would barely be noticible if they weren't a reddish color.
Perennial
<u>Where seen</u>:Oak Ri...

Sheep Sorrel Rumex acetosella /Smartweed Family May 2, 2005
This is a common roadside weed. The flowers are very tiny, they would barely be noticible if they weren't a reddish color. Perennial Where seen:Oak Ri...

Sheep Sorrel Rumex acetosella /Smartweed Family May 2, 2005
This is a common roadside weed. The flowers are very tiny, they would barely be noticible if they weren't a reddish color. Perennial Where seen:Oak Ridge, widespread
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22 <strong>Blunt-leaf Milkweed; Curly Milkweed</strong>
<em>Asclepias amplexicaulis</em> /Milkweed Family
Height: to 3' 
May 2, 2005<br>
I noticed this plant growing along a road that I have driven on to my outdoor science outreach programs for 17 yea...

Blunt-leaf Milkweed; Curly Milkweed Asclepias amplexicaulis /Milkweed Family Height: to 3' May 2, 2005
I noticed this plant growing along a road that I have driven on to my outdoor science outreach programs for 17 yea...

Blunt-leaf Milkweed; Curly Milkweed Asclepias amplexicaulis /Milkweed Family Height: to 3' May 2, 2005
I noticed this plant growing along a road that I have driven on to my outdoor science outreach programs for 17 years! So, that just proves you can never assume you've seen everything blooming in an area. It was the only plant of its kind I saw in the area. Milkweeds have "parachute" seeds that can travel for miles on a good stiff autumn breeze, so the parent plant may have been very far away. The leaves of this plant are not as curly as the specimen in my book. The flowers are on long stalks. This plant made my "spring wildflower goal", it was plant #600 for Tennessee wildflowers! Perennial Where seen:Oak Ridge
1958
23 <strong>Blunt-leaf Milkweed</strong> 
It is interesting looking at the individual Milkweed flowers.

Blunt-leaf Milkweed It is interesting looking at the individual Milkweed flowers.

Blunt-leaf Milkweed It is interesting looking at the individual Milkweed flowers. 1382

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