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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.