Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 29, 2013

Rocky Mt. Wildflowers: Gem Lake 6/29/13

The Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park  blog has a new wildflower report for Gem Lake. Below are the highlights. See many photos that are part of the posting and older reports at:  Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park.

  • The spring blooms have mostly been replaced by summer flowers along the Gem Lake Trail.  Among the many flowering plants were these:
  • Heart-Leaf Arnica (Arnica cordifolia) prefers the shade of conifer trees
  • Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale) stems were once used in mattresses
  • There are many garden cultivars of Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata) rays and disks can be various combinations of orange, yellow, and red
  • Shrubby Cinquefoil (Pentaphylloides floribunda) is a woody shrub with an abundance of one-inch-wide yellow flowers; a version of this shrub is widely cultivated
  • The five-petaled yellow “cinquefoil” flowers of Shrubby Cinquefoil (Pentaphylloides floribunda)
  • There was an abundance of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) on the lower portion of the trail
  • Dotted Saxifrage (Saxifraga austromontana) was found near the top of the trail; moss-like mounds of foliage are topped with small white flowers that are artfully dotted in red, orange, and yellow
  • Also toward the top of the trail were clumps of Silvery Cinquefoil (Potentilla hippiana)
  • This tall violet-flowered Penstemon is probably Beardless Sidebells Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus) which is particularly common in the montane region around Estes Park
  • Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii) is common on many of the trail in the park.
  • Yellow star-shaped Stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum) flowers colored the sunny gravelly patches along the trail
  • An unknown petite Ragwort (Senecio sp) was tucked against a fallen log just off the main trail
  • Wyoming Paintbrush (Castilleja linariaefolia) is recognized by the reddish-orange bracts and very narrow linear leaves
  • Miner’s Candle (Cryptantha virgata), a prickly-hairy plant with white flowers along the unbranched stalk, is common on dry slopes of the trail
  • Sulfur Flowers (Eriogonum umbellatum) are just beginning to open their green-yellow sulfur-colored blossoms
  • The only location in the park for Rock Saxifrage (Telesonix jamesii) is in rock crevices along the Gem Lake trail
  • The Rock Saxifrage (Telesonix jamesii) is a uniquely beautiful and rare plant



  1. […] Rocky Mt. Wildflowers: Gem Lake 6/29/13 ( […]


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