You should have known you can't escape the botany if you're hiking with me.
Largest herbaceous flowering plant we saw... cow parsnip, Heracleum maximum. This one looks a lot like the giant hogweed that is becoming such a problem.
I've seen both, and think I can tell the difference. Both have huge leaves and very large umbels of white flowers. But cow parsnip has stems that aren't spotted. They are less hairy, and the umbels are tighter. The hogweed flowers are more starburst like if that makes sense.
The smallest flower I pictured is one that always makes me smile. It's the tiny scarlet pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis. The flowers are barely a quarter inch across, and the color is stunning.
It usually grows in sparse groups, but here it was all clustered up and looking grand. Sadly, it's alien, so it shouldn't be on my "like" list. What can I say... it's pretty anyway. It grows in sandy soil, so I've seen it here at home before.
Both of these finds were growing along roads.
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