Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty had a different concept of “Splendor in the Grass” than I do as my subject this morning are those somewhat small and usually ignored flowering lawn weeds of Spring and Summer not the lost love of which movies are made. When I virtually visited the next alphabetical state, New Jersey, I was somewhat disappointed. Not that the Purple Violet is less than alluring, its just that several other states also have chosen the violet and you and I both need to keep exploring new and challenging wildflowers. So, here I am, with another Purple Violet in our yard of wildflowers, but what are those white, blue, and yellow blooms we call weeds as they poke and sprawl their way from street to house?
First a token nod to New Jersey as we honor a Spring visitor to greening lawns and fields.
Our first view of blooming “weeds” is one we all know – the White Clover. Were you aware that there are a half dozen varieties of clover that will bloom in the front 40? White clover is easy but there is a red clover, a yellow hop clover, and even a crimson clover!
There may be a hundred or so lawn weeds common in our area but aren’t they really wildflowers that happen to be growing in the wrong place? Consider the violet. There is not one person that doesn’t admire the purple, blue, yellow, or white Violet in a natural setting – be it woods or fields. When I do a wildflower survey in my neighborhood or in the deepest, darkest woods of Appalachia, an Oxalis, or Wood Sorrel, would be a great find. Even a Dandelion in the wild is counted as a wildflower. We like our solid green Bermuda, Bluegrass, or Fescue landscape but across the road, the clover and purslane bloom unrestricted and, in their own way, aren’t they just as attractive?
New Mexico is our next alphabetical state and I bet you could easily become attached to their state flower.