Author Archives: Andrea Jones

Nodding Onion

To my considerable relief, the nod of the Nodding Onion is distinctive, and I can assert with some confidence that this is Allium cernuum. And since I have not yet had occasion to use the word “umbel”–and who wouldn’t want … Continue reading

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Mariposa Lily

If Harebells are cute and Sugarbowl clematis is sweet, the word for this flower is elegant. Calochortus gunnisonii We’ve called these Sego lilies for two decades, but with this bloom-a-day-in-July project I’ve been cross-examining my assumptions while delving into a … Continue reading

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Shorthorn Spurge

Euphorbia brachycera Although it resembles the pernicious invasive Leafy spurge, this little native is smaller and exhibits better manners. Some guides use the common name “Horned spurge,” but I think the “Shorthorn” version is more winsome. Up here, the plants … Continue reading

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Yucca

If you’re looking for contrast, look to the yucca:  fat, buttery-looking flowers paired with sharp leaves that, believe me, will elicit a defensive yelp at the slightest inadvertent brush. The yucca demand attention in other ways, too. Their flowering has … Continue reading

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Mountainspray

A little evanescent froth for these dry mountains: the blooms on these shrubs are dramatic while they last, but they don’t last long. Holodiscus dumosus: a bush that knows how to play with light.

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Lambert’s Locoweed

While Silky locoweed blooms early, with thick clusters of white and palest lavender flowers, this Oxytropis blooms later and louder, and with slightly more airy spacing between the flower spikes. Oxytropis lambertii You would think a color this ostentatious would … Continue reading

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Fendler’s Sandwort

If ever the word “spangle” is to be applied to a western wildflower, surely this is the one. Multitudes of little white flowers on wiry stems spangle the grasslands (or, if you prefer the noun form of the word, that … Continue reading

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Sugarbowl Clematis

Clematis hirsutissima Like the Harebells I featured last week, Sugarbowl are turning up in clusters, an unexpected abundance. I appreciated that this particular plant also shows off the seedheads, which are a delight in themselves. The flowers make me smile … Continue reading

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Slender-Tube Skyrocket

I shouldn’t have been surprised when I discovered, in researching this post, that the common names “Skyrocket” and “Gilia” refer to more than one species of plant. The genus name (as I’ve recently learned) is Ipomopsis. You’ll often see populations … Continue reading

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Western Wallflower

Erysimum asperum They’re typically single pompoms of yellow popping up around the grasslands, but the plants sometimes branch and find more elaborate forms. The one above is on a rich patch along the pasture fenceline, next to one of Jake’s … Continue reading

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