Thursday, June 20, 2013

Out on the Plains

The last three weeks I've had the opportunity to take a Native Plant Masters class at the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora.  This is a great facility way out east near E-470 and Hampden, but I wanted to compare what was in bloom out there with what we see on Green Mountain.  As I expected a lot of the flowers were the same although there were a couple that we don't see here.  Although it's pretty dry, there are a couple streams that provide some contrast, and lots of raptors soaring.  One flower that really seems to represent the plains is Sand Verbena (Abronia fragrans).  Attractive as it spreads across the dry dirt, it has a sweet fragrance to attract pollinators.

Sand Verbena

The other thing I found fascinated I touched on last time.  When we showed up for our first class on June 3, the whole area was bright yellow with Wallflower (Erysimus  asperum).  We were told that usually the Wallflowers are scattered around, like they are on Green Mountain, but the late snows in April apparently were just right to germinate all those Wallflower seeds just waiting for their chance.
Yellow Wallflowers cover the ground at the Plains Conservation Center
Like the Jeffco and Lakewood Open Space Parks the Plains Conservation Center has some good programs, and I'd recommend checking it out if you're on the east edge of town.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Sand Verbena too! I'll really miss going to the Plains Conservation Center. Next stop Cathy Fromme Prairie near Fort Collins..