Monday, June 2, 2008

Still More Wildflowers


It has been over 3 weeks since I have made a blog post! I've been very busy in the garden, planting and finishing up several garden projects. On a rainy day last week I ventured down the mountain side behind our house and was astonished at the prolific show of wildflowers!


Here is a patch of Indian Paintbrush, and a tall blue flower we have always called Bluebells. I have since learned that it is actually a member of the lily family. (see below)



A close up of Large flowered Triplet-Lily, a member of Themidaceae, the Cluster Lily family. The latin name is Triteleia grandiflora. I love the way the flowers are clustered at the top of the tall stem, before they open and hang down, showing off their pretty ruffled edges.



Indian Paintbrush, up close and personal. A unique feature of this plant is the brilliant color that decorates the ends of the leaf bracts. I learned last year that it is a parasitic plant, meaning that it lives off the roots of nearby plants. It is named Castilleja for Douglas Castelleja, an early Spanish botanist. There are over 250 different species of this plant that grow in the West! High in the nearby mountains, where we pick huckleberries, we have another species, which is more red, and the form more spikey. The orange variety is a favorite of mine.



I hadn't seen this wildflower before, but from my research I believe it to be Taperleaf Penstemon , classified as Penstemon attenuatus. The smallish , drooping flowers are a lovely shade of pinkish blue.



I have yet to identify this wildflower. It has a very tall stem with a cluster of small yellow flowers at the top. Anyone have a name for this one?

UPDATE 6-15-08 A reader has identified this as a member of the Groundsel family. (Thanks, Wesley!) There are so many different varieties, I haven't found the precise Latin name yet....will have to go back and look at the leaves in order to do that.


Naked Broomrape grows on a stem with no leaves. It is also parasitic, living off the roots of neighboring plants. This variety is Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea.



I think this is some sort of vetch or wild pea. It has a pretty, delicate look.




I had to include this photo of a wild strawberry. Though the flowers are a bit out of focus, you can see a very cute and tiny strawberry toward the bottom of the photo. :-)

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I was too busy to get out and photograph the Camas this year, but this post would not be complete without a tribute to this beautiful indigenous wildflower. Below are some photos taken a couple of years ago.

A field of Camassia quamash, just a few miles down the road from our house. The one to two-inch bulbs are edible, and were a delicacy among the Nez Perce Indians of this area, who would steam or pit-cook them to bring out the sweet flavor. It grows wild in meadows, moist lowlands, along the edges of prairies and on bluff or rock outcroppings. A field of blue camas in bloom is a sight to behold! The higher elevation area surrounding our beautiful valley is called the Camas Prairie, in honor of this lovely plant.



A close up of the beautiful Camas flower, also known as Indian Hyacinth.


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This about wraps up my posts on the Spring wildflowers in our area. There is much blooming in my flower gardens now.....so on to the more domesticated beauties!


21 comments:

Cheryl said...

I am delighted to see your wildflowers, they are so pretty
The little lily is such an intense blue.
We have the little vetch here in England...it is growing in my flower meadow at the moment.

A lovely post and an absolute pleasure read.

Me said...

Love the field of cammas...

Mme. Meow said...

What lovely pictures! Thank you for sharing, and I'm glad I found your blog.

Cat said...

Well! It's about time we heard from you, my sweet gardening friend. I love the blues and yellows, as you do. I hope we'll get more than just one pic in the month of June because I go looking every day. My squashes are blooming, but the yard is full of lakes. See you this weekend. C.

Leslie said...

I'm so far behind on reading posts I'm hardly commenting (to save time and try to catch up!) but had to say your photos are just lovely...so many wildflowers I've never seen!

vonlafin said...

Great pictures! Good luck with the family reunion. I held ours at my home for several years. It is a lot of work, but worth it!

garden girl said...

gorgeous flowers! I love the combination of that blue and orange. Fabulous!

Beth said...

Loved the Indian Paintbrush - but I'm drawn to anything (and flower) and orange nowadays! Great photos once again ...

ChrisND said...

Thanks for a tour of wildflowers and for visiting my blog. I will have to get to the countryside more and find the prairie flowers here. Oh, and we were in southeast ND near Wahpeton for the riverside walk.

Wesley said...

Hello Cottage Gardener This is my first time finding your blog and I am plesantly suprised. Thank you. I just checked out a wild flower book form the library AFALCON GUIDE Great Basin Wildflowers. It breaks down wildflowers into colors so i was very excited to find a use(finding your mystery tall stemmed yellow flowered flower) I believe it may be a Single-Stem Groundsel. But, I could be wrong I'm new at this gardening thing and even newer at this wildflower thing. It was nice visiting your blog thank you. come visit mine it's sloppy and not as nice as yours but I hope you'll enjoy flowersforusall.blogspot.com

ChrisJ said...

Such beautiful flowers and great photos! Yes, I do think that is some kind of vetch.

Layanee said...

Beautiful wildflowers and it is nice to see the field of camassia which I grew for the first time this year.

Andrea said...

Hello, I always enjoy the lessons and pictures about wildflowers in your area. They are very educating and interesting and I appreciate you taking the time to do this for us. Take good care! Andrea

Zoey said...

Very pretty wildflowers, Connie. I really like that Indian Hyacinth.

The flower I call Indian paintbrush seems a little different the yours. It's always so interesting to see flowers from other states with the same name.

gardenpath said...

These are all new to me, except the wild strawberry. I am glad to see what camas looks like growing. So many of the western books write about it, including the Lewis and Clark journals, but until now, I had never seen it.

I think your mystery flower has a name now, don't you?

Connie said...

Wesley - Thanks for identifying my unknown wildflower. I do think it is Groundsel. One website listed over 150 varieties, so have yet to find a Latin name. I will need to go back and check the leaves on the plant....if I can find it again. :-)

kate smudges said...

I love the cluster lily - it is just beautiful. The droopy bell-shaped flowers are so pretty. The Indian Paintbrushes are spectacular. The camassia is absolutely gorgeous. I grew it from a bulb one year and it looked wonderful. Of course, I forgot to dig up the bulb, so that ended that. Coming upon wild strawberries would be such a treat.

Beth said...

What gorgeous photos, Connie! I enjoyed them all very much. Thanks for taking the time to photograph and post those beauties! I am behind in my blogging but, unfortunately, behind in my gardening too -- because of a busy professional end-of-year, a heat wave, and illness. I starting to get caught up though. Happy Gardening!

Miranda Bell said...

Beautiful wild flowers - the Camassia especially as I've never seen this one before - grown en masse in a field like that must be stunning... Lovely! Miranda

Eve said...

Oh my! That is just about more beauty than a person can stand. I love wildflowers so much. I figure God put them there for special people to see. I have a pretty pink wildflower that comes up every year and I think God must have put it there as a special treat for my eyes only!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Wonderful shots, I have even heard of cammas, what a lovley flower.