Author Archives: Andrea Jones

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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Miner’s Candle

Cryptantha thyrsiflora Although it looks softly inviting, this plant’s covering of fine hairs is more bristle than fuzz. If you yield to the temptation to touch one, you’ll only do so once, at least on purpose: the experience is closer … Continue reading

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Rocky Mountain Ninebark

Physocarpus monogynus As charming as this flowering shrub is, you’d think I would have learned its name long ago, but I didn’t look it up until last year. “Ninebark” comes from the belief that the shrub’s shredding bark consisted of … Continue reading

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Clustered Broomrape

This was a rare treat; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this cool-looking little plant before. The plants are parasitic, and this one is most likely dependent on the fringed sage (Artemisia frigida) you see growing at the base (silvery … Continue reading

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