Posted by: Sandy Steinman | August 9, 2013

Rocky Mountain Wildflower Report 8/8/13 Medicine Bow-Routt Nat. Forest

Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park has a new wildflower report go  Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park : The Lakes Trail, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Wyoming.

Wildflowers of On a recent trip to the Snowy Range in Wyoming, a bit north of the park, the flowers were well into their peak bloom period. Some of the more interesting ones are listed below.

  • One of the dominant components of the blooming meadows was the Aspen Sunflower or Nodding Sunflower (Helianthella quinquenervis)
  • Aspen Sunflower, also known as Nodding Sunflower (Helianthella quinquenervis)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was also a large component of the dry meadows
  • Many individual flowers make up the flower head of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Alpine Dandelion (Taraxacum ceratophorum) can be distinguished from the Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) by its leaves which are not lobed
  • The pea-like flowers of Alpine Milkvetch (Astragalus alpinus) occur in terminal clusters of up to eight flowers
  • The bright yellow flowers of Alpine Avens (Acomastylis rossii) is a common component of the alpine and subalpine regions
  • The color of American Bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) flowers can range from white to pink to almost red
  • Pygmy Bitterroot (Lewisia pygmaea) is another plant whose tiny flowers can range from white to deep pink
  • Broad-Leaf Arnica (Arnica latifolia) shown with a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly
  • The phyllaries of Broad-Leaf Arnica (Arnica latifolia) are equal in length and covered in white hairs
  • The Colorado Columbines (Aquilegia coerulea) in the Snowy Range area are pure white
  • Ball-Head Sandwort (Eremogone congesta) flowers occur in a tight terminal cluster
  • All parts of Mountain Death Camus (Zygadenus elegans) are highly poisonous
  • The individual flowers of Mountain Death Camus (Zygadenus elegans) each have a green gland at the base of the six fused petals
  • Subalpine Larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi) is a large-leaved stout plant that can be 3 feet tall
  • One-Headed Daisy (Erigeron simplex) has one flower head per stem
  • There were thousands of showy Glacier or Snow Lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) along some parts of the trail
  • Glacier or Snow Lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) have a single flower and only two leaves
  • The flowers of Glacier or Snow Lilies nod and the petals curve back, exposing the long stamens and style
  • A clump of Wild Iris (Iris missouriensis) was still in full bloom
  • The wet meadows were aglow with clusters of the tiny bright pink flowers of Bog or Swamp Laurel (Kalmia microphylla)
  • The five petals of the Bog or Swamp Laurel (Kalmia microphylla) flowers are fused into a saucer-shaped corolla
  • Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a common daisy found along roadsides or montane meadows
  • The Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus) flowers along the Lakes Trail were all deep blue-purple
  • Sickle-Top Lousewort (Pedicularis racemosa) has white flowers and either reddish or green foliage, depending on whether it grows in full sun or shade
  • The Parry Lousewort (Pedicularis parryi) grows in upper subalpine or alpine meadows
  • Cushions of Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata) were seen at higher elevations along the trail
  • The bracts of Rosy Paintbrush (Castilleja rhexifolia) can be intense fuchsia in color
  • One of the last few Alpine Sunflowers or Old-Man-on-the-Mountain (Rydbergia grandiflora) flowers that had not withered yet
  • Also at the end of their blooming period were the Sky Pilot (Polemonium viscosum) flowers
  • Subalpine Buckwheat (Eriogonum subalpinum) was abundant and in full bloom
  • The individual creamy white flowers of Subalpine Buckwheat (Eriogonum subalpinum) are crowded into a nearly round head
  • Many of the Tall Chiming Bells (Mertensia ciliata) had pink flowers instead of the more common blue color
  • The tiny Mountain Blue Violet (Viola adunca) was abundant in wet meadows
  • In the meadows of the Snowy Range, the Dusky Penstemon or Whipple Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus) were consistently a lavender color, unlike the cream or maroon flowers throughout the park
  • The lavender flowers of Dusky or Whipple Penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus) occur in tightly packed whorls
  • Alpine Willowherb (Epilobium anagallidifolium) is found along seeps and snow melts
  • Large clumps of Short-Styled Onion (Allium brevistylum) were common in dry meadows
  • The deep pink flower tips of the Short-Styled Onion (Allium brevistylum) are noticeably pointed
  •  If one is lucky, it may be possible to spot the fragrant flowers of a White Bog Orchid (Platanthera dilatata) in a wet meadow along this trail
  • Rocky Mountain Loco or White Loco (Oxytropis sericea) has black tips on the sepals below the flowers.

To see older reports with photos go to Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park.

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