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 of Scarlet Gilia as red spikes jutting out of the bare dirt of road cuts…

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 poop piles (he’s very organized, likes to keep his sh*t together). Western wallflower is the…

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 to stinging nettle than velvety lamb’s ear. For that reason, I’m not keen on them…

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 green foliage around the pink stems). For scale, the cluster was no more than four…