Thirty days ago, I was inspired to blog the bloom by a prolific little flower I called “the little purple penstemon that blooms earlier than most of the penstemons” (kindly identified as P. virens by Susan J. Tweit in the comments to that post).
Those plants have now gone to seed, but their larger penstemon compatriots are blooming now, and it seems appropriate to allocate a post to them as this project winds down, even if it must be a group recognition.
When I started this series of bloom-a-day posts on the first of July, it seemed like thirty-one days might about cover it, and it’s been good fun to share some of the abundance of flowering plants we’ve been seeing this summer. Still, there are flowers I won’t have time for: lupine, cut-leaved evening primrose, wild rose, blue mustard, pussytoes, wild strawberry, Rocky Mountain bee plant, fairy candelabra, Platte thistle, cinquefoils, buckwheats, and cacti, never mind some very attractive grasses and the various sages and rabbitbrush just beginning their bloom phase now. We’ll also miss some plants that flowered earlier, such as pasqueflower and mountain bluebell, and others I haven’t seen blooming yet, including Rocky Mountain clematis and bottle gentian.
But, July is not over yet. The varieties of penstemon aren’t quite as dizzying as the astragulus array, but a handful of species is in full glory as I write. Their tall spikes are like pennants of color waving here and elsewhere across the West, urging us to slow down and look.
Look really close on that front-facing blossom, upper left.