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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tunnel Springs Beardstongue - Penstemon concinnus

 This beautiful little penstemon is Tunnel Springs Beardstongue (Penstemon concinnus). It only grows in Utah and Nevada in gravelly alluvial soils in pinyon/juniper.  The plant is compact, usually not more than 20 cm tall.

For more info about Tunnel Springs beardstongue, click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Threepetal Bedstraw - Galium trifidum ssp. columbianum

 This is a tiny plant that grows in wetlands, but it looks much like the larger version that is common, stickywilly or common bedstraw. This is threepetal bedstraw (Galium trifidum ssp. columbianum). It grows in western North America. The plants were only about three-four inches high.

 Flowers have three petals and later a dark fruit will appear.

For more info on threepetal bedstraw from the USDA plants database, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

American Yellowrocket- Barbarea othoceras

 The bright yellow flowers of this member of the Mustard Family (Brassicaceae) is found in wetlands and along streams and is called American yellowrocket (Barbarea othoceras). Another common name is American winter cress. It grows in much of western and northern North America.

For more info about American yellowrocket, click here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clustered Broomrape - Orobanche fasciculata

This is such a strange looking plant, with no green in it at all. The reason is that it is a parasite, taking its nutrients from a nearby plant in the Asteraceae family. This is common to plants in the Broomrape Family (Orobanchaceae), and this species is clustered broomrape (Orobanche fasciculata). It grows in western states, the Midwest, and much of Canada.

To see the USDA Plants Database entry on clustered broomrape, click here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuber Starwort - Pseudostellaria jamesiana

 This pretty white flower in the Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae) is tuber starwort (Pseudostellaria jamesiana). It grows in several western states. The common name is due to the plant spreading from its underground tubers.
 Leaves are just slightly sticky and very narrow.

For more info on tuber starwort, click here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sagebrush Cholla - Grusonia pulchella

I got very excited when I saw a flash of pink and went over to examine it and found this jointed cactus. I believe it's sagebrush cholla (Grusonia pulchella). It grows primarily in Nevada, with a few in Utah and California.
It goes by several other scientific and common names, including sand cholla. I could only find two in the place I walked around. Both were small and indistinct, and I probably would have missed them if it weren't for the flower.
For more info about sagebrush cholla, click on this interesting link.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Prickly Cryptantha - Cryptantha echinella

When I saw this cryptantha, I thought it looked a little different--longer leaves. It turns out the leaves are one of the distinguishing characteristics--they have very long hairs on them, hence the name prickly cryptantha (Cryptantha echinella). This species grows at mid-elevations in Nevada, California, Idaho, and Oregon.
To see the USDA Plants Database page about prickly cryptantha, click here. 

Saskatoon Serviceberry - Amelanchier alnifolia

 The large shrub or small tree with red bark, oval leaves, and white flowers in May or June in this area is Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia). Flowers have five petals, as is common in the Rose Family (Rosaceae). After the white flowers have finished blooming, small fruits, called pomes grow. The top half of the leaf is toothed.

The trees grow in openings in forests and in sage steppe.

To see some info from the Washington Native Plant Society about Saskatoon serviceberry, click here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jones' Fleabane - Erigeron jonesii

Lots of Erigeron are blooming, and we have 17 species in our area. This one is Jones' fleabane (Erigeron jonesii). It grows at mid-elevations in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.

It has both ray and disk flowers.

The leaves are the distinguishing characteristics. Most are basal, but there are some on the stem. They are hairy. The basal leaves have three obvious nerves.

There's not much other info on Jones' fleabane on the Internet right now, but you can connect to the Plants Database description by clicking here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Modoc Hawksbead - Crepis modocensis

 There are many dandelion-like plants blooming right now. Many are in the genus Crepis. These aren't the easiest to tell apart, but I believe that this one is Modoc hawksbeard (Crepis modocensis). (As always, if you know I've misidentified something, please leave a comment!) It grows at mid-elevations in western North America.

 The leaves and stems are hairy. The stem has little bristles coming off of it, which isn't well-captured in this photo.

 In the photo below, you can see the bristles well on the buds.
For more info about Modoc hawskbeard from Calflora, click here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wild Crab Apple - Peraphyllum ramosissimum

 This large bush with white flowers is wild crab apple (Peraphyllum ramosissimum), sometimes called squaw apple. Later in the summer small apple-like fruits are produced. Wild crab apple grows in several western states, favoring mid-elevations. It's been around a long time, with fossil records of it 50 million years ago. Leaves are oblong and flowers have five white petals, as is common in the Rose Family (Rosaceae).

To learn more about wild crab apple from Southwest Colorado Wildlflowers, click here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Musk Phlox - Phlox hoodii ssp. muscoides

This phlox caught my eye, and even though I thought I had already photographed it, I hadn't. So I guess it's good for me to take a lot of photos now and then! The key had it listed as a separate species, but the USDA Plants Database has it as a subspecies. So we'll call it musk phlox (Phlox hoodii ssp. muscoides), previously Phlox muscoides. It grows in the western U.S. and makes these mounds of flowers. I found it about 6,500 feet elevation.

And here's the ant eye's view
For more info on musk phlox, click here.