Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 5, 2013

Lake Isabelle, Indian Peaks Wilderness Wildflowers 7/5/13

Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park has a new wildflower report for Lake Isabelle in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. To see photos and older reports go to: Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park

The hike to Lake Isabelle was extremely wet due to many melting snowfields as well as a daily dose of rain.  So, while not in peak bloom yet, there was an abundance of moisture-loving plants on the trail.

Alplily (Lloydia serotina) was sprinkled throughout the meadows in the upper subalpine

There were thousands of Marsh Marigold (Caltha leptosepala) clumps everywhere it was wet

Narcissus Anemone (Anemone narcissiflorum) was also common wherever the soil was wet; it is often found together with Marsh Marigold (Caltha leptosepala)

Hidden in shady moist crevices were a few Heart-Leaf Arnica (Arnica cordifolia) flowers

The American Bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) flower head is made up of many individual tiny white flowers

Just beginning to bloom was the tiny Pygmy Bitterroot (Lewisia pygmaea)

The most dominant flowering shrub along the trail was the tiny Bog Laurel (Kalmia microphylla)

High wet meadows were filled with pink flowering Bog Laurel (Kalmia microphylla)

A large swath of Bog Laurel (Kalmia microphylla) was even growing on a rocky ledge high above the waterfalls

There was no shortage of our state flower, Colorado Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)

A single Colorado Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) flower with five blue sepals and five white petals

Fendler Sandwort (Eremogone fendleri) was limited to a few plants because it prefers drier soils

Another moisture-loving plant is Kings Crown (Rhodiola integrefolia) shown here topped with its deep red flowers

At the highest part of the trail above Lake Isabelle were a few alpine cushion plants, including the pioneer Moss Campion (Silene acaulis)

Mountain Parsley (Pseudocymopteris montanus) differs from the more common Whiskbroom Parsley (Harbouria trachypleura) in having carrot-like wider leaf segments

Parry Lousewort (Pedicularis parryi) is a small lousewort found on subalpine and alpine rocky slopes

The flowers of Parry Lousewort (Pedicularis parryi) are two-lipped, with the larger upper lip sickle-shaped and curving down

Parry Primrose (Primula parryi) is a large plant with long fleshy leaves and showy magenta flowers; it prefers a habitat near standing, running, or falling water

The flowers of Parry Primrose (Primula parryi) are a vivid magenta color and are arranged in elongated clusters along a stout stalk

Alpine Sorrel (Oxyria digyna) flowers are tiny and greenish but the seed pods are larger, winged, and have bright red margins

The tiny Mountain Blue Violet (Viola adunca) nearly carpeted the wet meadows

Only one plant of White Marsh Violet (Viola macloskeyi) with a solitary nodding flower was seen along the trail

At the higher elevations of the trail both colors of Dusky Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus) were observed on exposed rock slopes

White-flowered Dusky Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus)

At the edge of melting snowfields were the showy yellow flowers of Snow Buttercup (Ranunculus adoneus)

Snowball Saxifrage (Saxifraga rhomboidea) is found throughout the mountains, from the Foothills to Alpine regions

Lake Isabelle viewed from the waterfall above the lake and below the glacier



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