Syringa reticulata

Syringa reticulata

MAP – Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. I use the areas I’ve labeled on the map to identify where plants appear in the park. (Fox den area, turn-around point, playing field, etc.)

Wow…no measurable precipitation (NONE!) has come to the park since mid-May (and that was only a quarter of an inch). And it shows. The moist April and early May weather got my hopes up that we might have a good bloom season in the park, but it looks like that is not to be. The short bloom spurt that happened in late May is over with the wild onions all done and many other plants finishing their bloom times quickly. So, sadly, this will be a brief post!

Here is what is blooming in the north part of the park:
Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata) – This lovely tree starts blooming right after the shrub lilacs. This year it is has been blooming for about a week and a half and will probably finish within the next week. It was introduced to the park, maybe even by General Palmer, since lilacs were a favorite plant of his. Look for these along the mid-to-northern stretch of the middle path as well as along the west side of the east path. You can also find a few along the side of the hill down from the Fontanero parking lot. (Alien)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – This plant is usually among the first to bloom, but it really took its time this year. It seems to be hitting its stride now, so look for purple, knee-high flowers along the edge of all paths. (Alien – escaped from agriculture)

Medicago sativa

Medicago sativa

Threadleaf yellowrays (Thelesperma filifolium) – Some years we don’t see this plant bloom at all. I suspect the moisture in April and early May spurred it on this year. Look for it in the ditch and in the wildflower meadow field. I’ve seen it a few places north of this but it seems to be drying out quickly. (Native)

Thelesperma filifolium

Thelesperma filifolium

New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana) – This is a plant people seem to either love or hate. It is technically native south of us in New Mexico and not here, and it does tend to be a bit enthusiastic wherever it decides to grow. However, the light purple flowers are beautiful, and often mistaken by non-plant people as lilacs. Look for the biggest stand right along the middle of the middle path. There are some up at the turn-around patch and a few on the hill that goes down from the Fontanero parking lot. (Alien)

Robinia neomexicana

  Robinia neomexicana

Robinia neomexicana
Robinia neomexicana

 

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