Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dame's Rocket or Wild Phlox

Back in the late spring of 1991, I was in my 4th year of teaching and was expecting my first child on August 27th.  (surprise ... he didn't come until September 5th and weighed 10lbs even!).  I worked in a school district 21 miles from home. The drive wasn't too bad, as I was going away from the city, and almost everyone else was driving into the city.  My route was on some pretty major highways for my locale. The Kensington (aka the 33) out of Buffalo to I-90 to US-219.

I always looked forward to driving on the 219 - because the median dividing the highway, as well as the sides of the road were full of beautiful pink and purple flowers. They quickly worked their way into my heart as one of my favorite flowers.

Someone told me they were Wild Phlox. And so for the past 22 years - I have always called them that. Always blooming in the spring. Gorgeous color in the wild fields of weeds on the sides of the roads. Until today, that is. 

We bought our house here in Clarence, 16 years ago. The plant didn't grow anywhere near us when we moved here. In the last couple years, I noticed a few plants blooming around the edge of our property. Each year there were a few more scattered around. I started getting excited - as the blooms reminded me of the treasured memories of my last few monts teaching in Hamburg, and last months of my pregnancy with Justin. 

This year .... they are amazing around the edge of our property. So I went out this morning and snapped a few photos. The first is from on the deck - right outside the kitchen door. 

 The morning sun creates some pretty cool shadows over the field.


I love the different shade of purple


But they aren't called Wild Phlox. They are called Dame's Rocket.


So here is what I learned this morning:

Dame's Rocket grows and flowers in the spring along roadways and in poor soil. 
Phlox bloom in rich soil in later summer.
Dame's Rocket has 4 petals, phlox have 5 - matching the number of letters in their names. 

I get excited over little things ... like learning how to tell the difference between downy and hairy woodpeckers and now identifying a favorite flower. 
 and ...
They sure are pretty to look at. 

1 comment:

Betsy Adams said...

How 'bout that!!! I learned something too.. Never knew the name of that purple stuff growing along areas when we travel. It's pretty though... Glad you finally have some near your home you can enjoy. Love that photo of your view from the deck.