Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wildflowers Siete

Wildflower meadow on the Huckleberry Trail to Tablerock, July of 2014

And yet another installment of cool wildflowers I have seen in my travels.

Sky Pilot
Polemonium eximium

Growing in the loose rock on top of Tablerock

Sky Pilot

Sky Pilot is a wildflower I had never noticed before, and for good reason.  It only grows above 10,000 feet above sea level.  Sky Pilot grows in alpine conditions and usually grows where other plants don't.  I was fortunate to catch this while it was in bloom.  This specimen was on top of Tablerock in the Teton Mountains.  Elevation 11,106'.

Alpine Buttercup
Ranunculus eschscholtzii

Alpine Buttercup

Alpine Buttercups grow around 10,000 feet above sea level also.  I saw this specimen on the same hike to Tablerock.  This particular specimen was viewed at about 10,500 feet above sea level.

Moss Campion
Silene auculis

Moss Campion

Moss Campion grows all over the western United States in alpine or tundra conditions.  In other words, above the treeline.  This particular specimen was viewed on top of Tablerock.  It was at the end of it's blooming cycle.

Yellowbells
Fritillaria pudica

Yellowbells in Harriman State Park

Another view

Yellowbells are a member of the lily family, and the Fritillaria pudica is one of only three fritillaria species found in Idaho.  They are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring, but they don't last long.  Yellowbells typically grow on the sagebrush steppe of the western states.  Yellowbell bulbs were an important food source for the nomadic peoples who used to roam the plains.  Because they aren't as plentiful as they once were, eating them should be reserved for emergencies.

These yellowbells were photographed in Harriman State Park in June of 2014.

Yellowbell

This yellowbell was photographed near String Lake in Grand Teton National Park in June of 2014

Fringed Gentian
Gentianopsis thermalis

Fringed gentian at Black Sands Spring near West Yellowstone

and another one

Fringed gentians in their natural habitat

Fringed gentians near Mystic Falls in Yellowstone National Park
The fringed gentian is a true rockstar in Yellowstone National Park.  It is the official flower of Yellowstone.  It is a subalpine flower that grows in boggy or marshy areas in the western states.  One of my favorite flowers in Yellowstone.  That's why I'm going to put up more pictures.

The ones above were taken in July of 2013 on the same day, the first at Black Sands Spring near the town of West Yellowstone and the others on the Mystic Falls Trail at the end of the Biscuit Basin boardwalk.

Fringed Gentian in Virginia Meadows, Yellowstone

More fringed gentians in Virginia Meadows

Even more

These gentian pictures were taken on a hike at the end of July, 2013 to Little Gibbon Falls, near Norris Junction in Yellowstone National Park


Cool fringed gentian

clusters

and another

Not quite open

A few more for good measure

I'm a designer, I'm drawn to shape and color, texture, line and shape.  The wildflowers in Yellowstone have all that.  I truly live in a great part of the country.  Hiking season is just around the corner.  I can't wait.

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