The sky is a beautiful blue. Most welcome after these past days of gray sky, rain and snow!
But it's still cold outside, and so I sit here at my computer recalling lovely spring flowers.
For it is spring ... I think! I can't see the western end of the Grand Mesa and I wonder about the plants buried beneath blankets of snow.
In my mind's eye, Allen and I walk over the rough ground near Land's End Road. Ahead is a mass of lovely, pale blue pasque flowers, but we suddenly realize that there are flowers right here at our feet — white daisy-type blossoms, but they're in a clump that's nearly a foot wide.
I kneel down, and the individual blossoms are about an inch wide with the outer white "petals" a half inch long.
There is a dense cluster of yellow flowers in the center. Many flowers arranged to mimic a single blossom means likely they're in the sunflower tribe, and I know this lovely plant. This is Easter Daisy, so named because they often bloom near Easter. But of course that depends on your location, for our eight species of Townsendia occur from the 'dobes to alpine. I met it once in the 'dobes near Grand Junction in a rocky sagebrush area on the Uncompahgre Plateau, and again in red rock regions in Moab. I've seen it in the pinyon-juniper of the West Elks and here on the top of Grand Mesa in rocky, windblown subalpine setting.
This little plant is named in honor of David Townsend, a Philadelphia botanist. We have 25 species in the west, with eight in Colorado and they are difficult to identify to species but I managed to identify my plant as Townsendia leptotes. When we got home that day, I found that leptotes refers to the plant's slender roots, but of course I hadn't dug to find the roots.
In any event, the photo by Al Schneider perfectly matches my memory of this attractive native plant. And I know that I'll find it again this coming summer in some lovely setting.blog comments powered by Disqus