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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Winding Mariposa Lily - Calochortus flexuosus

 I was taken aback to see this delicate flower from the Lily Family (Liliaceae) gracing a dry, gravelly slope above a road cut. This is winding mariposa lily (Calochortus flexuosus), found in the southwestern U.S. Flower petals range from white to pink and have a band of yellow low on them.

Although I only found a few of these flowers scattered, they can grow in large numbers, as seen on the Southwest Colorado wildflowers page.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Toano Milkvetch - Astragalus toanus


I saw a pink flowering bush along the side of the road in southern Snake Valley and stopped to take a closer look. Imagine my surprise when I found little pea-like flowers on it! What kind of plant in the Pea Family (Fabaceae) grows in a bush? Turns out it's Toano milkvetch (Astragalus toanus). It only grows in a few western states, prefers the valley floors, and blooms in May and June.


To see the USDA Plants database entry on Toano milkvetch, click here.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

American Yellowrocket - Barbarea orthoceras

 This member of the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae) with its four-petaled yellow flowers is American yellowrocket (Barbarea orthoceras). It grows in much of western and northern North America.

For more information on American Yellowrocket, click here.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Arrowleaf Balsamroot - Balsamorhiza sagittata

 This bright yellow flower with wide, arrow-shaped leaves is Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), a member of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). It grows below 10,000 feet on open, dry slopes and flats and blooms from May to July.

For more information on arrowleaf balsamroot, click here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Steptoe Valley Beardtongue - Penstemon immanifestus

 This beautiful pinkish penstemon is Steptoe Valley Beardtongue (Penstemon immanifestus), part of the Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae). It grows from 5,000 to 6,000 feet on sandy soils, and I found it near EskDale, Utah. It is only found in Utah and Nevada. It grows about one-foot tall, and flowers are over an inch long. Stems are glabrous (smooth), and the staminode (yellow part in flower above) is bearded (hairy).

Because of it's limited distribution, I couldn't find much info about it. Here's a link to the USDA Plants Database.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Wildflowers in Pole Canyon

Hi! After a year's hiatus, I'm back!

This has been a great spring for wildflowers. Even though we had a rather dry winter, April was fairly wet, and I've been seeing a lot. This year I've been focusing on photographing the flowers in a particular area and then posting them all together. This helps people who are hiking in that area see them all together. It's also helped me to find a few more plants I need to key out and include on this blog.

To see the spring wildflowers along Pole Canyon trail in Great Basin National Park, click here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Anderson's Buttercup - Ranunculus andersonii

 This was my first native wildflower I saw this year. I didn't know what it was, which I have to admit, made it extra special. Thanks to my friend Glenn, I learned it's Anderson's buttercup (Ranunculus andersonii) a member of the Buttercup Family-Ranunculaceae.

 It grows in the western U.S. and prefers sagebrush areas. The petals can be white or pinkish. The stamens and pistils are yellow. The flower is borne on a leafless stalk. The leaves are usually in a basal rosette, with three double-lobed leaflets at the end of a petiole.


 For more info about Anderson's buttercup, click here.

It sure feels good to have a new flower to add to this blog!