Thursday, July 30, 2009

Purple Loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria - My small stand of lythrum lies
behind the berm in the front garden. It is tame there and is not spreading.
In the northeast it is dangerously invasive crowding out many native species.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Globe Amaranth

Gomphrena globosa - I love these flashy little purple globes.
They are native to Panama and Guatemala. They do well in full sun
in the ground or in a container. My ten year olds were beginning
to flag so I bought some new ones that are thriving.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wave Petunia

)Petunia x hybrida Solonaceae Family This is a very popular
container flower which will last all summer. All it really needs
is water. It was developed by the Kirin Brewing Company in Japan.
I don't know how it goes with sushi.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blue Star Creeper

Lobelia - It survived the great hail storm
of 2009 and is thriving. It is said to bloom all summer. Some
have called it ruthlessly invasive so I am keeping it in a container.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mariposa Lily

Calochortus gunnisonii. Also Sego Lily. Calochortus is Greek
for beautiful grass. These lilies were by the Cub Lake Trail in
Rocky Mountain National Park.

Humming Birds

We bought a $9 humming bird feeder
and attached it to the deck rail at Solitude.
We then enjoyed the show for the rest of our stay.

Humming birds (Trochillidae) are among the world's
smallest birds. They can flap their wings 12-90 times
per second and can fly at 34 miles per hour. They
are the only birds that can fly backwards.


Epilobium angustifolium - In the Onagraceae
family of the class magnolia. Known for its ability to
colonize burnt over areas, This flower leans over a stream
on the Cub Lake trail in RMNP.

Wild Rose

Rosa woodsii. This beautiful pink rose was on the
trail to Cub Lake in RMNP.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wooly Actinella

Tetraneuris brevifolia. Aster family. The flower
has three teeth on the tips of the rays. They grow in rocky areas
of the tundra. The leaves are simple small silvery and hairy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snow Buttercup

Snow Buttercup Ranunculus adoneus. Snow buttercups exhibit suntracking or heliotropism.
The stalks of the flower move with the sun carrying the flower heads and this occurs because of
differential cell growth. The stalks bend eastward in the morning and gradually unbend during
the course of the day. Photoreception occurs in the middle region of the stalk 1-3 cm below the
flower. This is due to 40% increased growth on the shaded side of the stalk and corresponds
to significantly longer epidermal cells on that side in contrast to the sunlit side.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) It has multiple folk names
including Gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper,
Sanguinary, Milfoil, soldiers woundwort, and thousand
The most interesting name came from my son Gordon's
mother-in-law. Joanie who grew up in Leadville Colorado
related that when she was 5 or 6 the other kids called it
Pissy Plant because if you picked it you would pee your
bed that night.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yellow Pond Lily

Nuphar luteum polysepalla Also spatterdock
and cow lily. The flower is a solitary hermaphrodite
pollinated by insects. The stalks are connected to
underground sterms with roots called rhizomes.
These can multiply forming new rhizomes creating
huge colonies.

This lily is on Nymph Lake above Bear Lake in RMNP.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lanceleaf Chiming Bells

Lanceleaf Chiming Bells - Mertensia lanceolata These alpine bluebells
are low growing with narrow elongated leaves that have prominent
center veins and are differentiated from tall chiming bells which are on
a tall spindly stem. These were photographed on a hike at the foot of
Lumpy Ridge in Estes Park. 7-16-09

Fendler Sandwort

Arenaria fendleri. In the Pink family - Caryophyllaceae.
This is a tufted plant with narrow rigid grasslike leaves
and with white flowers with red anthers. 7-16-09

Gordon Sessions Family

Our son Gordon with Kelli (the wife) and
sons Blake, Adam, and Will stayed at
a nearby condo. Kelli's folks Joanie
& Ray Dawson stayed with us. We hiked
daily and one day we drove up the Fall
River Road for a picnic on the tundra.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wild Blue Flax

Adenolinium lewisii. These beautiful sky
blue flowers were by the trail that I walked each morning
by Fish Creek Road in Estes Park. The flowers open each
morning and close by noon. I found this out when I went
one day to photograph them after lunch and could not find them
but they were there again the next morning. After the
blooming season each flower forms a globoid seed capsule.
They reproduce by re-seeding. It is named after Meriwether
Lewis as it was found on the Voyage of Discovery - the Lewis
and Clark Expedition, in 1806.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Pentaphylloides floribunda. Also Potentilla In the rose
family. Potentilla is from the Latin powerful. Cinquefoil refers
to five leaves. The five petaled flower was a symbol of strength,
power, honor, and loyalty and representations appeared as early as
1033 in France. This was 2 years before the reign of William the

Queens Crown

Clementsia rhodantha - Also rose crown. Stonecrop family.
Thrive in wet alpine and subalpine meadows and tundra.
Rhodantha is Greek for rose flower. Queens Crown is rounded
on top and deep to light rose in color and Kings Crown is flatter
on top and maroon to iridescent red/black.

These flowers were in a wet meadow by the Long Lake Trail
in the Colorado Indian Peaks wilderness area.

Indian Paintbrush

(Castilleja Also Prairie-Fire.
The flowers are edible and sweet and were consumed
as a condiment with other fresh greens by American
Indians. Some tribes used the plant to treat venereal
This flower is from the Long Lake Trail in the Indian
Peaks Wilderness Area south west of Estes Park
Colorado. I had some in my garden last year.

Yellow Indian Paintbrush

This flower was on the Long Lake trail right
by the red paintbrush. It was a magnificent day.

Globe Flower

Trollius albaflorus. Hellebore Family.
This was growing along the Long Lake trail.

Jacob's Ladder

Polemonium pulcherimum. Also Greek Valerian. Known for its
purple-violet flowers and its ladder like leaf arrangement.
Polemonium (also Fatsa) was an ancient Ottoman Empire city
in Turkey on the Black Sea. 7-13-09

Jan and Don at Long Lake

We hiked around Long Lake which is in the
Indian Peaks Wilderness area. Jan is sitting
in a meadow of Indian Paintbrush.


Bistorta bistortoides - Buckwheat family
Dense cylindrical clusters of minute flowers found
in alpine meadows. The powdered root has been used
as a powerful astringent to treat canker sores and sore
throats as well as dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome
and as a douche for excessive vaginal bleeding. I have
not used it so far.

Wild Geraniums

Geranium maculata. Also wood geranium, alum root,
alum bloom,and old maid's night cap. It is high in tannins
and is used medicinally to treat diarrhea, gum disease and
canker sores.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speirosa -I found this showy
flower in a parking lot in downtown Estes Park Colorado.
It was covered with butterflies. Asclepias was the Greek god
of healing.

Aspen Daisy

Erigeron speciosus. Aster family. Also
Showy Daisy. This friendly touch of delicate purple
is common beside alpine and subalpine trails. This
grouping was along the trail to Cub Lake in RMNP.

Common Mullein

Verbascum thapsus It has many names
including Great Mullein, Velvet Wort, Hig Candlewick, Adams rod.
Felt wort, Hare's beard, Ice leaf, Beggar's blanket, Flannel,
Wooly wort, Shepard's staff, and more. It is a hardy biennial
which produces a rosette of leaves the first year and a tall stem
with dense flowers in the second year and then it dies. It requires
winter dormancy before it flowers. the dormancy is linked to
starch degradation in the root which is activated by low temperatures.
Flowers bloom for a single day opening in the morning and closing
in the afternoon.
This is one of the first wildflowers in our garden many years ago.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Ken and Jackie Oldham introduced us to the
new trail at the base of Lumpy Ridge.

Showy Milkweed

The visitor on this milkweed is a Pristine
Eastern Yellowtail butterfly.

Parry Harebell

Campanula parryi Bellflower family.
This delicate alpine flower has one upward facing bell
shaped blossom with five violet-blue petals. This one
was on the trail at the base of the Twin Owls of Lumpy
Ridge near Estes Park.

Humming Birds

Our humming birds came in various shades of
spectacular color.

Flowering Cactus

These beautiful cactus blooms were on the
Lumpy Ridge trail this summer in Estes Park.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Glen Haven

We drove down the road to Glen Haven and
got to look at the possibility of what life
was really all about.

Dwarf Sunflower

Helianthus pumilus. Also bush sunflower
and little sunflower. This wild perennial flower grows on the
eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. 7-10-09

Arrowleaf Ragwort

Senecio triangularis. Aster family. These
hardy flowers were on the Cow Creek trail
near Estes Park.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Estes Park

We stayed at Solitide Cabins on Fish Creek Road and
had a great time visiting family and friends and hiking.
Here we are on the Ute Trail off of Trail Ridge road.

Moss Campion

Silene acaulis - In the Magnolia class. The small pink wildflowers
arise in a domed cushion which has a solid long taproot.It is common
on the tundra of the high arctic and the rocky Mountains. I have seen it
often on my arctic canoe trips. It displays "compass flowering" with the
flowers developing initially on the south face of the cushion and later on
the north side.

Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum. In the Mustard Family. This is
a small perennial herb which grows in dry stony
soil. The seeds sre borne in long green pods called
siliques. 7-9-09

Alpine Phlox

Phlox sibirica pulvinata - These small
alpine flowers live on the tundra on a cushion of green.
They have a bluish hue. Trail ridge road - Ute Trail.

Our photographer son Chris came to Estes Park
and we drove up Trail Ridge Road. Chris took this
image of a most contented marmot lying in the sun
on a warm rock.
Marmots are in the squirrel family (genus Marmota).
Also woodchuck, ground hog, and whistle pig. They live
in burrows in the rocks and hibernate there through the
winter. They are highly social and communicate using
loud whistles. They eat grasses,berries, lichens,roots,
and flowers.

Sulfur Flower

Eriogonum umbellatum - Buckwheat family. Eriogonum is Greek for
wooly knee which describes the wooly leaves and swollen joints of the plant. The long
lasting flowers start out as red tinted bulbs turning to umbellate shaped yellow flowers and
dry into reds and oranges. The leaves also turn into red in the fall.