So it’s summer

…and I’m about two waves behind in wildflower reporting.

The most recent burst has been the spiderwort, a not-very-attractive name for a lovely flower.




Purple, purple everywhere!









I’ve seen white campions for a few weeks now. I love the striped calyces. They remind me of old-fashioned bloomers.


White campion











Several of the plants I thought among the prettiest are considered invasive. They’re non-natives introduced from other continents for planting in gardens because they were attractive or, in the case of the multiflora rose, because they provided rootstock for more desirable roses. Now they compete with native plants and, in some cases, crowd them out.

Dame’s Rocket










Multiflora rose

Orange harkweed, aka devil’s paintbrush











Fairly certain this is Robin’s plantain, a variety of aster. I love the faint violet blush.

Robin’s plantain


I find the yellow salsify so striking. It’s also called oysterflower because the edible taproot supposedly tastes like oyster. Hate to type it, but it’s considered an invasive weed in some areas as well.

Yellow salsify


And finally, some coreopsis, which for a few short weeks seemed to be everywhere. They’re also called tickseed, which is just wrong. Given how buggy it’s been so far, I don’t need anything with “tick” in it.



I took all these photos at Illinois Beach State Park except for that of the Dame’s Rocket, which I snapped while walking along a local wooded bike trail.

If you’re interested in seeing more flowers, there are several more posts over at my website.

Bloomers vector from



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About Kristine Smith

Kristine Smith is the author of the Jani Kilian series and a number of SF and fantasy short stories, and is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She worked as a pharmaceutical process development scientist for 26 years, but now writes full-time. She also writes supernatural thrillers under the name Alex Gordon. Check out her BVC bookshelf


So it’s summer — 6 Comments

    • Thank you! The variety of wildflowers in this area is amazing. It starts in spring with the ephemerals–trout lilies, spring beauties–and just keeps rolling on until autumn. Every few weeks, the parks and trails look different.

    • I had some trouble identifying the plant–folks around here do call it multiflora, and I found the leaf in my photos most closely resembled that of a multiflora–the rugosa leaf appears to have a smoother edge. I also found references to both white and pink flowers. Plus, rugosa isn’t all that common in Illinois, though it would probably love the state park near the lake.

      Anyway, I’m not that experienced in plant ID and am open to correction, but there were reasons why I went with multiflora.