What's Bloomin'?

 
Summer is finally in full swing and the flowers are starting to turn to fruit!

Yellow flowers

The sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) is still the dominant yellow flower along roadsides, but is starting to die back.  In the northern portion of the Forest, I also noticed curlycup gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa), blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) growing along the road. In more open areas, the shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) is still blooming as is the ever-present yellow salsify (Tragopogon dubius).  In more moist areas the cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) is showing off its summer yellow.

Purple flowers

In moist, shaded areas the occasional monkshood (Aconitum columbianum) is showing off its summer colors.  Most of the other purple flowers have been blooming for a while and include roundleaf harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), silvery lupine (Lupinus argenteus), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), and red clover (Trifolium pratense).

White flowers

In the past few weeks the western pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) has started to bloom as has Gardner’s yampah (Perideridia gairdneri).  In open areas the sulphur Indian paintbrush (Castilleja sulphurea).  I even saw a Gunnison’s mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii) still hanging on to its flower.  Along roadsides and other disturbed areas the common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and white clover (Trifolium repens) still dominate the white blooming species.

Grass

And less showy flowers that are nevertheless in bloom include grasses such as timothy (Phleum pratense).  Ahchoo!

Fruits

The berries are out in force this time of year!  So far I have seen raspberries (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus) and thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus).  There are also reports of claspleaf twistedstalk (Streptopus amplexifolius) and grouse whortleberry (Vaccinium scoparium) in fruit. 

As summer’s bounty of berries comes into full force, be sure you know exactly what you have before you eat it! 
 
Until next time, happy flower spotting!
 
Chelsea Monks, Forest Botanist

August 15, 2014

Contact Chelsea Monks or Cheryl Mayer at (605) 673-9200 for more information.