Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 2, 2013

Tundra Wildflowers: Rocky Mt. Nat. Park 7/2/13

The Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park blog had the following post for Tundra Bloom. Go to Tundra Bloom to see the many photos:

The first trip of the year to check out the tundra flowers was awesome!  There were so many flowers in bloom and so many pollinators (insects) at work.  The images below are a sampling of the colors now showing at 12,000 feet:

The intense blue of Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Eritrichum aretioides) flowers are crowded above a very hairy cushion of dense foliage

Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata) flowers on a very dense cushion of needle-like foliage

Often seen blooming together on the tundra is the Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Eritrichum aretioides) and Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata)

Found in wet locations is this tiny Bog Laurel (Kalmia microphylla) with bright pink saucer-shaped flowers

The number of petite Alplilies (Lloydia serotina) is numerous but easily overlooked because of its small size

Often found in damp soils is the very showy Narcissus Anemone (Anemone narcissiflora)

The Marsh Marigold (Caltha leptosepala) is another showy tundra flower frequently seen blooming together with Narcissus Anemone (Anemone narcissiflora; above)

A more mature Marsh Marigold (Caltha leptosepala) flower

The Black-Headed Daisy (Erigeron melanocephalus) can readily be recognized by the long black hairs on the back of the flower and on the upper stem

A staple of the tundra is the golden yellow Alpine Avens (Acomastylis rossii)

The many-stamened Alpine Avens (Acomastylis rossii) flower

Also numerous in many locations of the tundra is American Bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) shown here towering above the golden Alpine Avens (Acomastylis rossii)

Just beginning to bloom are the Pygmy Bitterroots (Oreobroma pygmacea) which commonly have pink flowers but can also be white

The Subalpine Jacobs Ladder (Polemonium pulcherrimum) is often found in a sheltered location  against rocks or among krummholz trees

A common daisy on the tundra is the One-Headed Daisy or the Alpine Daisy (Erigeron simplex)

One of three tundra clovers, the Alpine Clover (Trifolium dasyphyllum) has pink flowers and infolded three-part leaves

The tiny Northern Rock Jasmine (Androsace septentrionalis) has very slender stems and loosely clustered white fragrant flowers

Another showstopper on the tundra is the stunning Sky Pilot (Polemonium viscosum)

As its species name indicates, Different Groundsel (Packera dimorphophylla) has two types of leaves

Alpine Parsley (Oreoxis alpina) is a prostate tundra plant with a large umbel of yellow flowers

With its five petals deeply divided, the tiny Alpine Starwort (Stellaria longipes) appears to have ten white petals

The Western Yellow Paintbrush (Castilleja occidentalis) is a common component of meadows in the upper subalpine and alpine regions

The Woolly Tetraneuris (Tetraneuris brevifolia) has toothed golden yellow ray flowers as well as yellow disk flowers

On the tundra, the Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) resembles the plant common at lower elevations except that the stem is extremely short

Ready to open shortly are the dark reddish-purple flowers of Kings Crown (Rhodiola integrifolia), which can be found in wet soil

Alpine Sandwort (Lidia obtusiloba) is another dense cushion plant with tiny needle-like foliage

Returning from the tundra, at a lower elevation in the park, were a number of tall Green Gentians, or Monument Plants, or Elk Ears (Frasera speciosa)

The flowers of Green Gentian (Frasera speciosa) are green, in four parts, and have purple dots on the petal edges

See older posts at:  Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park.


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