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.
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.
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!
|Orchid Beard Tongue|
|Blue Mist Penstemon|
|Indian Paintbrush--flowers are green spikes at top|
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.
Hope you were able to get out this weekend. If not, the evenings are long, so get out and enjoy!
|Meadow Death Camas|