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.