Roadside “Wildflowers” of Wyoming

I’ve been thinking about that casual driver through Wyoming. The locals know that if you drive the Interstate through Wyoming, you haven’t really seen Wyoming. But as a traveler myself, I know that sometimes circumstances direct that my only view of a particular state is a ‘drive through.’

So, I’ve been thinking, what roadside wildflowers would the drive-through visitor see, and wonder about? In the first half of July there are three main roadside shows you’ll probably witness. Two of the three infact are not native plants, but escaped cultivated species: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis) . Since they aren’t natives, it also means I don’t have any photos in my files! I had to go to governament sites for royalty free photos…. Thanks to the ARS and USDS Plant Database.

Alfalfa Bloom
Alfalfa Bloom

Even though the individual blooms and spikes are small, some roadsides are a wash of purple and yellow with these cultivated plants.

Yellow Sweet Clover
Yellow Sweet Clover Bloom

The third July bloomer is a native – ‘sunfllower’ Helianthus pumilis, or Dwarf Sunflower. It’s a happy little perennial bringing a welcome spot of color in these hot weeks of July… of course I have photos of this one….

Dwarf Sunflower
Dwarf Sunflower/Helianthus pumilis
Helianthus pumilis
Dwarf Sunflower/Helianthus pumilis

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