My Town Monday: Wildflowers in Bloom

sagebrush buttercup

The last time I took you for a walk in the park near my house, the flowers I was able to show you included Sagebrush Buttercups. Apparently, these were used by some native tribes as poison on their arrowheads — rather different than my own childhood game of  “Do you like butter?” as we held buttercups under the chins of our friends!

Now it is mid-May and I am grateful to have taken my morning walk before the rain began in earnest. Not that we don’t need the rain — we do! It has been a very dry spring here — but I am less likely to take a camera into the park and kneel down on rocks for photographs if everything I touch is soggy.

I’ll have to go back out again when we dry off, because this rain is sure to bring on even more blooms.  (The rain will also bring on the mosquitoes but I’m going to ignore that for now!)

Bitterroot // Rock Rose// Lewisia Rediviva, Drumheller Springs

Bitterroot in bloom — also known as Rock Rose or by its scientific name: Lewisia Rediviva

2013 May 120 Close-up PINK, resized for web sharing

While photographing these tiny rock roses, I realized I had lost an earring. Luckily, it was easy to find, and I took the opportunity to take a few pictures and show just how tiny these flowers really are:

click on pic to embiggen

rock rose size comparison

Please click on any picture to “embiggen” for better viewing.

Other tiny finds include these lovely flowers: 

Phlox caespitosa or possibly Phlox viscida (sticky phlox)

Phlox caespitosa or possibly Phlox viscida (sticky phlox)

Microsteris gracillis, slender phlox

Microsteris gracillis, slender phlox

A  little fauna to go with the flora:

2013 May 128 ladybug on Arrowleaf Balsamroot plant

He (she?) was climbing on an Arrowleaf Balsamroot plant.

Common name(s): sunflower, arrowleaf balsamroot. Scientific name: Balsamorhiza sagittata.

Common name(s): sunflower, arrowleaf balsamroot.
Scientific name: Balsamorhiza sagittata.

My youngest son is a Boy Scout and has an interest in survival skills. Back when we had cable television access, he enjoyed watching the survival man shows. I suspect he has joined his 20yo brother in eating dandelions found in the park (pesticide free) and lately I’ve been seeing sites left up on the computer with information about wild edible plants.

Camas

Camas

Camas is an important food source for the Salish peoples of the Columbia Plateau. Traditionally, the bulbs are gathered in late spring and cooked in pit-ovens, often with onions, black tree moss, and other root plants. Cooked camas can be used as a sweetener for other foods, or eaten by itself. This plant is highly valued and respected by the indigenous peoples of this region.”  (from http://www.drumhellersprings.net/heritage-plants.html)

I’ll share one more picture today — that brings me to ten photos, and I’ve read that any more than 10 will cause me to lose my readers’ interest. 

Common name: narrow-leaf desert parsley.  Scientific name: Lomatium triternatum.

Common name: narrow-leaf desert parsley.
Scientific name: Lomatium triternatum.

 

Thanks to Aunt Snow for nudging my latent desire to learn the names of the local wildflowers!

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12 thoughts on “My Town Monday: Wildflowers in Bloom

  1. Lovely photos, and I like learning about the wildflowers –I think it’s fascinating to learn about how plants were used before we developed them into pill form. But I particularly like that rock rose –I’ve never seen that flower before. Does it have leaves? Do they come later?

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