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Rocky Mountain Wildflowers

Rocky Mountain Wildflowers

This is my Rocky Mountain Wildflower Sampler.  Here I have featured two wildflowers that grow all over the Rocky Mountains.  They grow in my yard in the meadows just over 7,000 feet.  They also grow high up in the mountains over 10,000 feet.

Rocky Mountain Bluebells

These are Rocky Mountain Bluebells.  Every flower identification book I own has a different species of this plant in it.  Streamside Bluebells; Mertensia ciliata.  Tall Bluebells; Metensia paniculata.  Alpine Bluebells; Metensia alpina.  Long-flowered Bluebells; Mertensia longiflora.  I do not know which version this is.

I first saw this flower along a small alpine stream near the ghost town of Hancock, CO, elevation 11,050.  When I moved here I was surprised when spring came along and bluebells sprouted up in my yard at 7,200 ft.  They are much shorter than the tall bluebells growing up higher - only 6 to 12 inches off the ground.  But, the flower is unmistakable.

Indian Paintbrush

And this is the Indian Paintbrush or Castilleja.  Another flower with many varieties that grow all over the west.  I probably saw these orange versions first growing on the plains.  The ones in my yard grow tall - they vary between 1 and 2 feet.

At the other extreme, Alpine Indian Paintbrush, may only be a few inches tall.  Indian Paintbrush also vary in color.  They can be orange, red or magenta.  The Sulfur Paintbrush is yellow-green.


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