Furry Pasqueflower (Anemone pulsatilla)
Front Range spring peeping is quite rewarding now, as many early plants and seeds have returned from dormancy to establish their tiny gene survival platforms -- flowers. I found all of these early bloomers on Boulder's Homestead and Towhee trails. If you go out for a peek, be sure to print a free flower guide called Look Closely. It is a gift from Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks department, as is their on-line flower page called Fantastic Flora. Another excellent on-line flower site is simply called Southwest Colorado Wildflowers. Here's a wildflower bouquet from my recent wanderings...
The pasqueflower (Anemone pulsatilla) was so named because it blossoms around Eastertime/Passover. Pasque is the Old French spelling for "Easter," and it is around this time of year that the plant blooms. Dakota Indians believed this buttercup's song encouraged other plants to awaken. It is also the South Dakota state flower. Patches of the flowers on their short, furry stems (that protect them from late spring snow) give an appearance of haze; for this reason the plant is also called prairie smoke. Other names are gosling flower, sandflower, windflower, wild crocus, and anemone. Beware of beautiful flowers. This one contains a poison called protoanemonin, and is an irritant when fresh; the crushed leaves were applied by Native Americans as a counter-irritant in cases of rheumatism and neuralgia.
Spring Beauty 39.923108, -105.276800
Spring Beauty (Claytonia rosea) is abundant all over the Boulder trails now. Spring Beauties are often the first wildflowers to emerge here in Boulder. Small 1/4 inch flowers top a 2-4 inch tall, slender, arching plant with drooping, narrow leaves. Meriwether Lewis collected the first specimens of this plant in 1806.
Maiden Blue Eyed Mary 39.99688,-105.302791
This tiny snapdragon is called a maiden blue eyed mary (Collinsia parviflora). It is a common plant throughout much of western and northern North America, where it grows in moist, shady mountain forests. This is an annual plant with small (1/8″) flowers on spindly reddish stems and narrow lance-shaped green leaves with edges that curl under.
Nuttall's Yellow Violets 39.939208, -105.262241
Sand Lily 39.939134,-105.266608.
I found my first
Lance-leaved Chiming Bells 39.942861,-105.266383
Biscuitroot (Lomatium cous) is a member of the parsley family. The name biscuit root comes from its starchy edible roots. These are, or have been, traditional Native American foods, eaten cooked or dried and ground into flour. Some Native Americans ground Lomatium into mush and shaped into cakes and stored for later use. Their flavor has been compared to celery, parsnip, or stale biscuits.