Penstemons

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…

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 to use the word?–I will add this note: an umbel is a form in which…

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 wider range of wildflower resources. Evidently, what we have here (in large numbers, right now)…

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 grow to seven or eight inches tall, and tend to be solitary rather than forming…