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Filed under: Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, State & National Parks

Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains–Part 2

November 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


As a follow-up to my recent post about wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains, I would like to profile a few more Alpine beauties that we observed during our travels in the mountains this summer. After returning home, I was disappointed that I had only taken the time to photograph a handful of these incredible specimens that punctuate the meadows and mountainsides with splashes of color. There are literally hundreds of different varieties; I had missed my chance, at least for this year.

King's Crown

King's Crown

This tall stalk with the striking red coronet is known as King’s Crown. Its Latin name is Rhociola intergrifolia and it is a member of the Stonecrop family. This striking red wildflower thrives in a moist Alpine environment.

The tall purple flower in the photo below has two common names: Purple Fringe and Silky Phacelia. A member of the Waterleaf family, its Latin name is Phacelia sericea. Quite adaptable as plants go, Purple Fringe thrives in Montane, Sub-Alpine and Alpine environments. It grows in dry to moist soils of roadsides, slopes and mountains from 6000 feet above sea level to above timberline and blooms from June to August.

Purple Fringe with Shrubby Cinquefoil

Purple Fringe with Shrubby Cinquefoil

Shrubby Cinquefoil, also known as Potentilla frutico, appears next to the Phacelia in the same photo. A member of the Rose family, this bright yellow wildflower grows throughout the western states. It can be found on ridges, in open forests and in the plains from low to high elevations.

Unidentified wildflowerIn all of my resources I have been unable to locate a name for the last photo in this post. It appears to be similar to a rock cress-type flower, only native to the Rockies rather than the plains. This beauty was frequently spotted on our mountain hikes but has evaded my attempts to identify it. If anyone can identify this lovely flower, please let me know.

These splashes of color really brightened our mountain hikes and helped to make us especially careful to stay on the trail, especially in the Alpine and tundra environs. The idea of crushing one of these beautiful specimens seemed unthinkable and unconscionable. We wanted to preserve them so that all mountain visitors might enjoy their brilliance and it is my pleasure to share a few of them with you.

For more information about national parks and the flora and fauna you will find there, search Woodall’s for a national park near you.

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