Central PA Wildflower ID


What is the name of the blue / white / lavender colored wildflowers growing along the roadsides currently in central PA. A couple of us at work had heard them called "Phlox", but they don't look like the Phlox in my wildflower book and I can't find anything else that matches them.
The plants are about 18-24" tall. The flowers have 4 petals in cruciate shape, and are maybe 3/4" in diamter. The flowers are in clusters at the top of the stems. The leaves are narrow and elongated.
I don't have any place to post a photo or I would, BUT anybody who lives in central PA will know the flowers I'm talking about because they're all over the place right now.
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Veronica?

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RWL wrote:

Post a pic to alt.binaries.pictures.gardens.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Sounds like Dame's Rocket: http://www.wiseacre-gardens.com/plants/wildflower/damesrocket.html
Sue
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Zone 6, South-central PA
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RWL said:

matronalis), a non-native (but widely spread) plant in the cabbage family.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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.........snip..........
Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) it is! Thanks. I went back and looked for the name in my wildflower books, but only one - the little paper back guide even had the name. The drawing in that book was ok, but it had it classified as a white flower, and most of the ones around here are blue, so I missed it. The description does mention that it's sometimes incorrectly identified as Phlox, which explains why some of us had heard it referred to as Phlox.
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One of the things I miss about eastern PA - the roadside flowers. State Transportation doesn't actually plant them, do they? Here in HI they've actually taken to poisoning roadside grass for fear of the dry-heat leading to wild fires : (
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wrote:

Not most of the widlflowers. There are areas of divided highways where PenDOT has planted wildflowers in the median. Where they've done this, there's a nice colorful mixture early, which later is dominated by Cosmos. In subsequent years only the purple coneflowers seem to return. I went down the strip of Rt 15 south of Selinsgrove today where they've done this in years past, but I didn't notice if anything was growing in the median besides grass this year.
RWL
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There are areas of divided highways

I've lived in several states and PA does seem to be distinct in this way. I spent a week in West Texas and that is the only place that approaches PA.
On the to do list over my recent vacation was to initiate a frivolous lawsuit against a government agency. It was to read Me vs. Hawaii state Dept of Transportation. Je Accuse the director of phytocide. Never quite got around to it.
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The difference between Dame's Rocket and Phlox is the # of petals -- DR has 4 and P has 5; and bloom time -- P is a later bloomer and DR blooms in spring. Also, DR is not a good plant, as it self-seeds prolifically and is highly invasive, which is probably why you're seeing it all along the roadways. More info on it's invasive nature from the USDA: http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/topics.cgi?earl=plant_profile.cgi&symbol=HEMA3
Suzy O, Zone 5, Wisconsi

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