Sunday, June 2, 2013

June's busting out all over!

What a great weekend...I counted 52 wildflowers that I actually saw blooming.  There are a few others that hide in various spots I didn't get to this weekend that are still out.  Let me know if there's something interesting you've seen.

The Penstemons are some of the showiest blossoms now.  The Blue Mist Penstemon (Penstemon virens) gives an iridescent blue while the Orchid Beard Tougue (Penstemon secundiflorus) stands taller with bigger flowers.  They'll be joined soon by the Tall Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus asa-grayi), which is also a bright blue.  
Orchid Beard Tongue

Tall Penstemon

Blue Mist Penstemon
 One other bright magenta flower that looks kind of like a Penstemon is Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii).  It has flowers on stalks like the Penstemons but the leaves and flower structure show it's a member of the pea family.
Colorado Locoweed
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja integra) has come out in the last couple weeks, too.  It's one of the easiest wildflowers to recognize with it's bright orange to red sepals.  No, those aren't petals--the actual flower is a small green tube that sticks out of the bright orange sepals.  If you pull one out and suck on the end you'll get a small taste of nectar if the bees haven't beaten you to it!
Indian Paintbrush--flowers are green spikes at top
One of the flowers that really brightens some hillsides right now is Groundsel (I won't give it a species name since they're confusing!)  These bright yellow flowers are all over on some of the northern slopes of the mountain.  This is one of the best displays of Groundsel in a couple years.

One more interesting little flower I mentioned the other day is the Meadow Death Camas (Anticlea virescens).  These little lilies (usually about 12") call for some "belly botany" so you can get down to their level and see the beautiful details in this miniature.
Meadow Death Camas
Hope you were able to get out this weekend.  If not, the evenings are long, so get out and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment