Things are speeding along in the park – well, some things anyway. No sign yet of wild onions or evening primrose, which often bloom in early May in the park.

MAP – Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. I use the areas I’ve labeled on the map to organize my posts.

This week, we can add chokecherries and honeysuckle to the list of plants that are blooming. The American plums are finishing up, but the golden currants are still going strong. They look terrific this week and you can see them in several spots in the north end of the park. (See the last post for more on these.)

Chokecherry (Padus virginiana) – This plant is blooming several weeks earlier than last year. (Last year, they were a bit late.) This is an important plant for wildlife in our region. In areas closer to the foothills, bears will feed on the berries later in the year. Most of the berries in Monument Valley Park will either be harvested by humans or by birds. The sausage-like clusters of blooms make this an easy plant to identify in the park and it is in several locations along the trails in the north part of the park. (Native)
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Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) – My best guess on this is that it is the Tatarian honeysuckle. I see much more of it this year, so maybe the bloom is better for some reason. The flowers range from pale to deep pink. I’ve noticed it in at least three spots in the north part of the park, all north of the Boddington playing fields. This is an escaped ornamental and it’s on the noxious weed list in many eastern states. (Alien)
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