Tiny bits of moisture are keeping the plants going at Monument Valley Park. Most of the spring blooming shrubs have finished up (see past posts for these – golden currant, honeysuckle, chokecherry) and a new round of plants is starting to bloom.  Noticeably absent this year are the early evening primroses.

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.Seen blooming this week:

All Over North Part of Park

Wild onions (Allium textile) – This is really a bumper year for this plant. I’m seeing it blooming along the middle and east paths – with patches in the Wildflower Meadow Field (see map) and across from that meadow blooming the most right now. They’ve been in bud for a long time and I was starting to wonder if they would ever bloom! (Native)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – This was the first plant to green up in the park this year, and it is now starting to bloom. You’ll see its purple flowers from now until frost. It’s very easy to find as along the trailsides is one of its favorite growing locations. (Alien)

Allium textile

Allium textile

Medicago sativa

Medicago sativa

Near the Turn Around Patch

Just south of the turn around patch along the east path (right near the big fitness course “chin up” sign) is….
Scarlet gaura (Gaura coccinea) – These can grow to be about a foot tall, but right now they are barely four inches or so. The tiny white flowers will turn pinker as they age. I also saw a little patch of this a bit further south than my map shows along the path towards the Uintah St bridge. (Native)

Gaura coccinea

Gaura coccinea

Wildflower Meadow Field

In addition to wild onions, I’m seeing….
Astragalas shortianus – I’d all but given up on this one this year, but a very small one is blooming right now. Look for the hot pink flowers not too far from the trail. (As I often mention, I’m doing my best with a specific ID for this plant. As astragalus can be tricky, I’m open to correction!) (Native)

Fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) – I was happy to see this return this year. Not surprisingly, it is smaller than it has been in rainier years. You’ll need to walk around in the meadow scanning for yellow flowers. (I’m still having a terrible time getting a photo of this – my camera does not want to get the blooms in focus!) (Native)

Across the east path from the wildflower meadow field…
Chiming bells (Mertensia lanceolata) – Several small clumps are blooming, so scan for the tiny blue flowers (yes, this is small this year too). I’m optimistic that now that these areas aren’t being mowed, this plant has had a chance to go to seed and spread a bit. (Native)

Astragalus shortianus

Astragalus shortianus

Lithospermum incisum

Lithospermum incisum

Mertensia lanceolata

Mertensia lanceolata

(Thanks to easterncoloradowildflowers.com for permission to use this photo.)

Stone Drainage Ditch

Of course, there are wild onions here too, but there is also…
Western spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) – Woo hoo! The first spiderworts are blooming. And they aren’t even really tiny this year (I’m not sure why). These purple blooms are very easy to find, and there will be more appearing in other areas of the north part of the park very soon. (Native)

Tradescantia occidentalis

Tradescantia occidentalis

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