Kentucky’s spring wild­flow­ers are every­where right now… and they are gor­geous! Not every trip to see them has to involve a hike, although that is still my favorite way to find and enjoy them. Often a coun­try dri­ve will be reward­ed with wild­flow­ers along the road. Recently, while dri­ving the back­roads, my wife and I have seen spring beau­ties, wood­land phlox, rue anemone, Virginia blue­bells, trout lily, rag­wort, lark­spur, Mayapple, Dutchman’s breech­es, wood pop­py, tril­li­um, and more. Sometimes they are in expan­sive patch­es such as these blue-eyed Marys.

Unfortunately, non-native inva­sive plants some­times out­com­pete and crowd out the native plants. If you look care­ful­ly, you can see win­ter­creep­er among the blue-eyed Marys in this pho­to. Without labor-inten­sive inter­ven­tion, the win­ter­creep­er will even­tu­al­ly dom­i­nate this site and the love­ly flow­ers along here will be scarce or gone altogether. 

Many of the inva­sive plants along our roads and in our wood­lands got their start by being plant­ed in someone’s home gar­den and then were wide­ly dis­trib­uted by birds or oth­er ani­mals drop­ping the seed. So, be care­ful about what you plant to avoid unin­tend­ed consequences.

A patch of wildflowers along a Kentucky roadway
A patch of wild­flow­ers — blue-eyed Marys — along a Kentucky road­way. Photo by Wes Moody. (Click to enlarge.)

  • Wes Moody

    Wes is a retired engi­neer. He and his wife live in rur­al Clark County with their dog and cat. He is a nature and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­ast, and also enjoys hik­ing and play­ing djembe.