Pinedale Online!

Visitor's Guide to Pinedale, Wyoming

Home | Calendar of Events | Photo Gallery | Local Businesses |

Pinedale Online > News > June 2004 > Desert Wildflowers Still Abundant

Bitterroot, or Rock Rose. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Bitterroot, or Rock Rose
It's not unusual to see a rocky outcrop or gravelly patch of ground covered with these flashy members of the purslane family and Montana’s state flower. Their fleshy fingerlike leaves, just an inch or so long, emerge out of nowhere as soon as warm weather arrives. When the buds appear, the leaves withdraw, and as soon as the blooms wither the whole thing disappears underground. We’ll just have to guess where they’ll come up next spring. Indians peeled and boiled the roots, but only early in the season – as they age, the roots become bitter.
Desert Wildflowers Still Abundant
by Sue Sommers
June 28, 2004

The wildflower bloom on the sagebrush steppe continues as moisture keeps blessing this early summer. We’re seeing many more flowers in our high desert landscape than we have in years. In the higher elevations and swampy areas, the celebrated mountain wildflowers are just beginning, notably scarlet or skyrocket gilia, geranium, lupine, wild iris and fireweed. But there’s still lots to enjoy in the foothills and the Mesa Breaks, with blankets of phlox still filling the air with sweet scent, and the following typical characters:

Related Links
  • Previous story - to see Wildflowers of the Sagebrush Steppe story & photos

  • Desert Parsley. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Desert Parsley
    This plant has an edible root. Its leaves have a strong, parsely-like flavor. Not to be confused with parsley desert buckwheat.

    Yellow Desert Paintbrush. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Yellow Desert Paintbrush
    Most of us think of desert paintbrush as being that much-loved flaming vermillion color, but paintbrush comes in yellow, too.

    Orange Globe Mallow. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Orange Globe Mallow
    Conspicuous in the sagebrush, this desert-loving relative of the hollyhock and hibiscus is making a big splash this year.

    Old Man's Beard, Revisited. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Old Man's Beard, Revisited
    Our previous story on Wildflowers of the Sagebrush Steppe had a photo of a flowering old man’s beard. This is the fruiting stage of the plant, showing the feathery strands designed to catch the wind and carry the seeds to new territory.

    Plains Daisy. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Plains Daisy
    Prevalent in the dry, thin, rocky soils of Wyoming’s steppelands, the plains daisy turns a barren landscape into a rock garden.

    Pussytoes, or Everlasting. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Pussytoes, or Everlasting
    Common in the sagebrush plains, everlasting (also called Pussytoes due to its fuzzy, rounded flower) can also inhabit high-elevation forests. The flowering stalks last a long time (duh) and are nice in flower arrangements.

    Stonecrop. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Also known as sedum, this is a summer blooming succulent, so in Pinedale we should be seeing more of these in the coming weeks.

    Umbrella Desert Buckwheat. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Umbrella Desert Buckwheat
    In our earlier story, we noted that the many species of desert buckwheat constitute a very large part of the plant population on the sagebrush steppe. This variety is most common in the Great Basin and Colorado, and enjoys a wide variety of habitats.

    Wild Onion. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Wild Onion
    Yes, it’s common. But isn’t it nice to know there’s always something at hand with which to season our deer or rabbit stew?

    Cryptantha. Photo by Pinedale Online.
    Annual, biennial and perennial cryptantha are present in our area. These inconspicuous plants with soft, hairy leaves shelter at the base of sagebrush, and are quite beautiful close-up.
    Pinedale Online > News > June 2004 > Desert Wildflowers Still Abundant

    Pinedale Online!
    Pinedale Online! PO Box 662, Pinedale, WY 82941
    Phone: (307) 367-6763 Fax: (307) 367-2864

    Office Outlet in Pinedale, 43 S. Sublette

    Copyright © 2004 Pinedale Online. All rights reserved.
    Pictures and content can not be used in whole or part without permission.