Puccoon 2

This year’s “Wildflower Walk in Monument Valley Park” (sponsored by the Friends of Monument Valley Park) is coming soon!

I lead this walk every year (plus a tree walk in September). Recent heavy rains should make this one extra interesting. The walk is free and open to the public.

Join us and learn a little about the plants in the park!

Date: June 6, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon
Where: Meet at the West Fontanero Street parking lot
(travel west on Fontanero St from Cascade Ave until it ends at the parking lot)

pigweed4.jpg

Amaranthus retroflexus

As mentioned in previous posts, this has been an interesting year in the north part of Monument Valley Park! Lack of moisture in late winter, all spring, and early summer reduced the show of blooming native (and a few alien) plants in the park. Then an ill-timed mid-summer mowing of the meadow with the most interesting natives also cut into the bloom and eventual spread of many of these plants. But then in early July, it started to rain. And rain it did for most of the month – almost 4 inches in our neighborhood! Meteorologists said our usual August monsoon season arrived early (and unfortunately, it seems to have left early as well).

But oh how the weeds have responded – in our gardens, in the street medians, and in the parks. The weeds with an annual life cycle know when to take advantage of a good thing, and they’ve really taken advantage of this moisture and the lack of competition from other plants that would usually be up and growing. Hence, I’m seeing huge numbers of HUGE weeds – a display like I’ve never seen. I spent one day doing quite a bit of photography and enjoying learning about all these weeds. And I’ve encountered another new phenomenon – pretty strong weed allergies for me! Nearly all of these prolific weeds produce microscopic pollen that is spread by wind. So they don’t have gorgeous colorful flowers AND they cause quite a bit of allergy misery. (But I won’t take it personally.)

There are small populations of ragweed, Russian thistle, and some other common weeds. But for this post, I wanted to point those that are shwoing up in big numbers in Monument Valley Park.

The “big players” this year are as follows:

(more…)

tradescantia_white.jpgThe moisture has kept up at least a bit and things are pretty lush in the park just now. Currently, everything I posted for last week still applies (see https://careymoonbeam.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/blooming-in-monument-valley-park-july-26/).

So I’ll just post a few new things for this week.

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.

New bloomers this week…. (more…)

Things are picking up a bit. Recent moisture seems to have inspired some plants to go ahead and bloom and others to bloom again!

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.

NOTE: The photos of the plants are ones I took (unless otherwise noted) for help in identification. They may not have been taken at the specific place in the park that the plant is listed under.

Seen blooming …. (more…)

Whew! Someone sure turned the heat on! We’ve been over 90 degrees for highs the past week with little-to-no moisture. I took the past week off to go to Crested Butte for the 2010 Wildflower Festival (fun, fun, fun). But I was back in the park this morning.

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.

NOTE: The photos of the plants are for help in identification. They may not have been taken at the specific place in the park that the plant is listed under.

Seen blooming …. (more…)

We had some pretty serious rain on Wed (July 7) and Thurs (July 8). It will be fun to see if this has any effect on the plants over the next few weeks.

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.

NOTE: The photos of the plants are for help in identification. They may not have been taken at the specific place in the park that the plant is listed under.

Seen blooming …. (more…)

Most of what I posted on June 21 is still blooming. (See post.) But I wanted to add one important plant.

Here is the map of the north part of the park.

East Path just west of the south tip of the Triangle

Dalmation toadflax (Linaria genistifolia) – This is on the Colorado Noxious Weed list. It is a lovely looking yellow-blooming plant (resembles a penstemon a bit) but can grow invasive rather quickly. The clump has since been dug up. This particular toadflax can be controlled with dedicated digging over several years. The more common toadflax (also known as “butter and eggs”) CANNOT be effectively controlled by pulling or digging. (more…)

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.

NOTE: The photos of the plants are for help in identification. They may not have been taken at the specific place in the park that the plant is listed under.

Seen blooming today….

Middle Path

Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata) – These are blooming along the east side of the middle path in several places. Some are quite large and they are more shrubby than tree-y. These were probably among some of the earliest plantings in the park. (Alien)

Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) – There is a nice patch of these to the east of the path quite near the turn-around patch. There are also some just north of the turn-around. These are starting to bloom and there are many more buds getting ready to bloom. (Native)

Heartleaf four-o’clock (Oxybaphus nyctagineus) – There are some of these that I’d never noticed before right along the north edge of the turn-around. The blooms are wimpier than those on plants last year. (Native) (more…)

Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. From this point on I’ll be using the areas I’ve labeled on the map to organize my posts.

Seen blooming….

Fox Den Patch

(I’ve yet to see a fox here this year, by the way)
Evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa and/or O. albicaulis) – These are about half as tall as last year and the flowers are smaller. (Native)
Fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) – Not very much of it and it isn’t going to last much longer. (Native)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – This seems to be one of the most successful plants in the north part of the park this year. (Alien) (more…)

Now I’ll be able to post for individual weeks or days (after my catch-up Spring 2010 post).

Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park.

Seen blooming this week….

New Mexico locust (Robinia neomexicanus) – this large shrub is just starting its bloom at just about the middle of the middle path, along the slight hill on the map. The flowers are light purple and are in clusters. (Alien – just barely though…it’s native to New Mexico) (more…)