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ORT

wyoming paint brushYellowstone Wildflowers - Figwort

WYOMING PAINTBRUSH
Castilleja linariaetolia Wyoming paintbrush is a bright red, showy plant, but the red portion is not the flower. The flower itself is tubular and yellow-green in color, and not particularly attractive. Surrounding the flower is a brightly colored leaflike bract. The leaves are long, linear and cut into slender segments near the top. The botanical differences between the numerous paintbrush species often are minute and distinguishing them may be difficult. HABITAT/RANGE: Inhabits dry to moist sagebrush slopes and juniper woodlands. Distributed from Oregon to Montana, south to New Mexico and southern California. Blooms June through July. FACTS/USES: The specific name, linariaefolia, means linaria-leaved, referring to the toadflax-like leaf. In 1917, the Wyoming Legislature selected this species as the state flower

sulphur paint brushSULFUR PAINTBRUSH Castilleja sulphurea The stems arise singly or in small clumps from a short ascending rootstock. The inflorescence is a dense spike with pale to bright yellow ovate bracts, which are mistaken for the flowers. But the flowers appear above the bracts as a long tubular corolla projecting from an outer tubelike sheath called a calyx. HABITAT/RANGE: Prefers moist to diy soils of meadows, plains, foothills and rocky slopes into the higher mountains. A strictly Rocky Mountain species, from southern Alberta to New Mexico. Blooms late MaythroughJuly. FACTS/ USES: A special delight for young Indian children was to pull the tubular flowers and suck out their sweet nectar. Most paintbrush species have a wide variation in color. Sulfur paintbrush, however, is one of the few species that is yellow with little variation.

dalmatianDALMATIAN TOADFLAX Unaria da/mate This large robust perennial herb grows two to four feet high. The stem-woody at the base-and leaves are grayish-green and glaucous. The opposite leaves are stiff, broad, ovate and clasp the stem. Flowers are arranged in terminal elongate racemes. They are bright yellow, but often purplish tinged at the apex. Corollas are one to two inches, two-lipped and lobed. The lower lip has formed an orange palate at the entrance of the throat. HABITAT/RANGE: A native of the Mediterranean region, Dalmatian toadflax has established itself in scattered regions throughout North America and is spreading. It prefers disturbed areas along roads, near dwellings and sagebrush flats. Blooms July through September. FACTS/USES: Toadflax is very similar to its close relation, butter and eggs. The difference is that toadflax is larger with broader leaves that clasp the stem.

butter and eggsBUTTER AND EGGS Unaria vulgaris This showy perennial herb ascends one to three feet from creeping rhizomes and often grows in patches displaying brilliant yellow flowers. Each flower, tipped upward and arranged in a dense raceme, has a yellow corolla with an upper two-lobed lip and a lower lip raised into an orange palate. An awl-shaped spur projects below the corolla. The stems bear simple, sessile, linear, pale-green leaves. HABITAT/RANGE: An introduced weedy species from Eurasia, butter and eggs has become established in disturbed pastures and roadsides throughout temperate North America. A summer bloomer. FACTS/USES: The common name is taken from the flowers' color combination, and the Latin genus name is derived from linum, the genus of flax, because the leaves resemble this species. It is believed that a tea made from this plant is good for skin eruptions, jaundice and as a laxative.

yellows monkeyYELLOW MONKEY-FLOWER Mimulus guttatus This showy perennial has bright yellow, tubular corollas, which are two-lipped and five-lobed, with two ridges extending back from the lower lip into the throat. The throat is spotted with red, and the flowers are one to two inches long. The hollow, square stems bear opposite, lance-shaped leaves and flowers, usually in pairs from the axils of the upper leaves. This species is quite variable in form and size, ranging from a few inches to several feet inheight. HABITAT/RANGE: This cordilleran species of North America prefers moist to wet seeps of mountain habitats. An early spring to late fall bloomer, though it can bloom during winter if it is near hot springs. FACTS/USES: The specific name means spotted or speckled. This plant can be eaten raw as a salad additive, though it has a slightly bitter flavor.

lewis monkeyLEWIS' MONKEY-FLOWER Mimulus lewisii Lewis' monkey-flower is a showy, herbaceous perennial with erect stems ascending from rhizomes. The leaves are glabrous to slightly hairy, lance-shaped, and unevenly toothed. The pink-purple, irregular corollas are two-lipped with two lobes above and three lobes below, while the throat has two brightyellowpatches.HABITAT/RANGE:Thiscommonmoun-tain wildflower grows in dense clumps along moist, wet streams, ravines and seepage areas. Ranges from Alaska south to Utah and California. Blooms late June through August. FACTS/USES: Both the common and specific names pay tribute to Captain Meriwether Lewis, the explorerwho first described this plant. The bright rose-pink flowers are attrac-tants for pollination by insects and hummingbirds. As nectary guides entice them into the funnel-shaped throat, anthers, projecting from the roof, dust their backs with pollen.

dwarf monkeyDWARF PURPLE MONKEY-FLOWER Mimulus nanus This very small annual grows only a few inches high. The reddish-purple flowers, less than an inch long, appear almost stalkless. The corollas are two-lipped and five-lobed, with yellow and purple marking in the throat. The opposite, lanceolate leaves are covered with glandular hairs, and the flowers are borne in leaf axils near the top of the plant. It can become well-branched and developed on good sites. HABITAT/RANGE: This plant prefers bare, open areas with sliding or loose sandy soil. It also is associated with sagebrush and dry pine forests. Its range is limited to central Washington, south to northern California and as far east as Yellowstone National Park. Blooms early spring and summer, while moisture is available. FACTS/USES: The Latin generic name is derived from mimus, meaning mimic, and refers to the grin-ning pattern of the flower that resembles the masks worn by mimes.

elephants headELEPHANT'S HEAD Pedicularis groenlandica This unusual and distinctive purplish flower resembles the head of an elephant. The broad upper lip (galea) of the irregular corolla suggests an elephant's cranium, the prolonged and upward curving beak representing the trunk and the lower corolla lip resembling the ears and lower jaw. The "elephants' heads" are arranged on dense racemes. The long leaves are mostly basal, narrow and pinnately divided, then lobed and toothed, giving them a fernlike appearance. HABITAT/RANGE: This showy, colorful flower usually grows in dense patches of wet or boggy meadows, producing a field of purple. It is distributed widely from Alaska to Labrador and south in the Western states to New Mexico and California. Flowers June to August. FACTS/USES: The specific name, groenlandica, means of Greenland, where it first was discovered.

bluepenstemonBLUE PENSTEMON Penstemon cyaneus Blue penstemon is an erect, robust plant (up to three feettall), with conspicuous blue-violet, bilaterally symmetrical flowers up to two inches long, clustered along the stem. The leathery-like, smooth leaves are narrowly lanceolate or ovate, stalkless and opposite. HABITAT/RANGE: This tall, blue-flowered penstemon is a common species of foothills and typically is found in sandy sagebrush plains and along roadsides, but it has a limited range to eastern Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and northern Colorado and northern Utah. Flowers sometime between May and July. FACTS/USES: Cyaneus means blue. The penstemons are some of the Rocky Mountains' most beautiful flowers. Blue penstemon adapts easily to disturbed sites and is a roadside flower frequently found in patches.

small penstemonSMALL-FLOWERED PENSTEMON Penstemon procerus This wildflower also is called clustered penstemon because the corollas are densely clustered in a whorl with open breaks between the whorls. The dark blue or purplish, tubular corollas are small, less than a half-inch long, and slightly two-lipped. The erect stems are four to 20 inches tall with basal, opposite, lanceolate, cauline leaves. HABITAT/RANGE: This plant prefers moist meadows of montane or higher elevations. At alpine levels, the plant becomes dwarfed. It is distributed widely from Alaska to Colorado, but mostly on the eastern mountain ranges. Flowers mostly from early to midsummer. FACTS/USES: The specific name, procerus, means tall. This colorful wildflower often is found growing along mountain trails in moist meadows. There are nearly 200 species of penstemons throughout the West and differentiation is difficult.
 

 

 


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