Helianthus annuus

Helianthus annuus

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.)

NOTE: Mark your calendars for a Sep 21 Tree Walk in Monument Valley Park! (10:00 a.m. – meet at the Fontanero St parking lot)

It’s been almost two months since I posted a “what’s blooming” article because…well..there has been so little blooming. We had a super dry early summer and then rain started kicking in in late July and it has been quite heavy the past week. The park area has received nearly 2.5″ in the past week!

So while the weeds are definitely making an appearance, there have been some other plants stepping in and blooming as well. None of these is occurring prolifically, but if you know where to look, you can see these lovely little bloomers.

Common sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) – If you walk the mid-path and glance frequently to the west, you’ll see a few of these tall sunflowers. These are fairly new to the park, and they seem to be slowly building a seed bank, so we may see even more in future years. (Native)

Helianthus annuus

Helianthus annuus

Hairy goldenaster (Heterotheca villosa) – This low-growing aster has been blooming in some places for many weeks by now, but you can see quite a few of them blooming in places along the east path (west of Boddington field, in the wildflower meadow, etc.) (Native)

Heterotheca villosa

Heterotheca villosa

Threadleaf yellowrays (Thelesperma filifolium) – This too has been blooming over a long period of time, but more blooms are showing up now in response to recent rains. Look for them west of Boddington field, in the wildflower meadow, and near the ditch. (Native)

Thelesperma filifolium

Thelesperma filifolium

Goldweed (or Cowpen Daisy or Golden Crownbeard) (Ximenesia encelioides) – This plant had been showing up in greater numbers the past few years, but this year I’ve seen just a few – west of Boddington Field and near the ditch. (Alien)

Ximenesia encelioides

Ximenesia encelioides

Penstemon spp. – These have been popping up in a few places this summer, and most recently, you can see this one blooming west of the Boddington playing field. More may bloom this week in the wildflower meadow. (Native)

Mystery penstemon

Penstemon spp.

Scarlet gaura (Gaura coccinea) – This teeny (but fantastically lovely) little flower is blooming along the edge of the wildflower meadow this week. It may be other places as well, as it can be easy to miss! (Native)

Gaura coccinea

Gaura coccinea

Blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis or Chondrosum gracile) – What? A grass?? Well YES! You can’t miss the lovely flower and seedheads on the blue grama in the wildflower meadow area and west of Boddington playing field. (Native)

Chondrosum gracile (Bouteloua gracilis)

Chondrosum gracile (Bouteloua gracilis)

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