Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 20, 2013

Rocky Mts: Twin Sisters Wildflower Report 6/19/13

The Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park blog has just posted the following wildflower report for the Twin Sisters trail:

In comparison to last year, the flowers on the Twin Sisters trail are lagging behind this year.  Some of the same flowers were seen today, but also many of those seen last year (10 days earlier in the month) were nowhere to be found.  These gems were on the trail today:

  • Colorado Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) found at lower elevation near the trailhead
  • Dwarf Columbine (Aquilegia saximontana) is much reduced in size and found among rocks in the subalpine and alpine zones
  • Alpine Avens (Acomostylis rossii) is a common flower in the alpine meadows
  • The flower of Alpine Avens (Acomostylis rossii) has a large number of prominent stamens
  • Moss Campion or Moss Pink (Silene acaulis) is a dense cushion plant common on dry tundra
  • Mountain Candytuft (Thlaspi montanum) on the tundra is tiny and more succulent than when found in the montane; it is the same species wherever found
  • Golden Draba (Draba aurea) has characteristic twisted seedpods
  • This tiny unidentified Draba (Draba sp) was no more than 1 inch tall with very hairy foliage
  • Although a tiny plant, the Fairy Primrose (Primula angustifolia) is easy to spot because of its intense pink color
  • The Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Eritrichum aretioides) is another tiny cushion plant with dense hairy foliage and blue or white flowers
  • The extremely hairy foliage of the Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Eritrichum aretioides)
  •  The flowers of Alpine Sandwort (Lidia obtusiloba) sit atop a dense cushion of very tiny moss-like foliage
  • Alpine Parsley (Oreoxis alpina) is common on rocky tundra and talus
  • Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata) flowers can be deep blue-violet to white (see below) on a dense cushion of foliage
  • White Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata) flowers are large compared to the tiny dense foliage
  • The Honey Polemonium (Polemonium brandegeei) flowers are creamy white and tubular with bright orange stamens
  • Rock Jasmine (Androsace chamaejasme) is abundant on the tundra and its flowers are extremely fragrant
  • The Northern Rock Primrose (Androsace septentrionalis) is related to the Rock Jasmine (above) but is not restricted to the alpine habitat
  • A very large cushion of Cloverleaf Rose (Sibbaldia procumbens) foliage with the tiny yellow flowers just beginning to open
  • Tiny five-petaled yellow flowers of Cloverleaf Rose (Sibbaldia procumbens)
  • Alpine Spring Beauty (Claytonia megarhiza) has succulent basal leaves, white flowers, and can be found among rocks on the tundra
  • Whiproot Clover (Trifolium dasyphyllum) has infolded three-part leaves and white with pink tipped flowers
  • Woolly Actinella (Tetraneuris) is named for its very hairy silvery green foliage; its flowers are large and showy with both yellow disks and rays
  • Very dense patches of Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) were found near the trailhead and then again higher up in the subalpine
  • Golden Corydalis (Corydalis aurea) was in full bloom throughout the wooded part of the trail
  • Also along the densely wooded lower trail were blooming Red Baneberries (Actaea rubra), named for the red berries rather than the flowers
  • The flowers of Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra) are tiny and white, and occur in terminal clusters
  • Along the lower part of the trail were several patches of Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) with uncommon all-white flowers

See photos for all of the above and older posts at:  Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park.


  1. […] Rocky Mts: Twin Sisters Wildflower Report 6/19/13 ( […]


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