MountainWildflowers

In the mountains above Los Alamos are numerous hiking trails, including the ski area
around Pajarito Mountain and the trail beside the East Fork of the Jemez River. In the
spring and early summer, the area is blanketed with brightly colored wildflowers. This
page displays images of June wildflowers from Plaza Blanca near Abiquiu, from the
Bandelier National Monument, some of the hiking trails in the Jemez Mountains,
and some wildflowers from Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon in Southern Utah.

Click an image to open a larger version.
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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Apache_Plumes_Abiquiu_NM_X5590


Apache Plumes Abiquiu NM X5590
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A sea of Apache Plumes at the entrance to the valley housing Plaza Blanca.

Apache Plume is an evergreen shrub in the Rose family with feathery plumes
at the bases of the flower stems resembling Apache War Bonnets. The Tewa
and other native people used these stems to make brooms and arrow shafts.

Cholla_Flower_Abiquiu_NM_X5587


Cholla Flower Abiquiu NM X5587
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A flowering Cholla (Chainlink Cholla or Cane Cholla) near the entrance to Plaza Blanca.

Cholla_Plaza_Blanca_X5621


Cholla Plaza Blanca X5621
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A flowering Cholla adds color to the stark landscape of Plaza Blanca.

Cholla is a member of the Cylidropuntia genus of cactus, with papery sheaths
covering the sharp spines on their segmented cylindrical jointed stems. Related
to the Prickly Pear (Opuntia), the Cholla has cylindrical stems instead of flat pads.

Prickly_Pear_X5227


Prickly Pear X5227
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A flowering Prickly Pear cactus below the cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Monument.
The flat pads of the Prickly Pear are armed with two kinds of spines: large, smooth fixed
spines and the hairlike prickles which can easily detach from the plant. The flat pads are
modified branches which store water and produce flowers. The nopales (pads) and the
fruit of the Prickly Pear cactus are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, and have
been a part of the diet of the people living around them for thousands of years.

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Prickly Pear X5227c
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A detail crop of a Prickly Pear flower and pads (nopales) from the left side of the image above.

Indian_Blanket_Gaillardia_X5200


Indian Blanket Gaillardia X5200
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Indian Blanket Gaillardia, a large daisy-like flower at the base of the cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Monument.

Indian_Blanket_Gaillardia_X5200c


Indian Blanket Gaillardia X5200c
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A detail crop of the Indian Blanket Gaillardia, slightly resized down from the master image.

Indian_Paintbrush_X5478


Indian Paintbrush X5478
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Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), one of 200 species of this parasitic plant, whose flowers were used as a condiment like garlic, as a hairwash, and as a medicine to enhance the immune system (it contains Selenium).

Wyoming_Indian_Paintbrush_X5509


Wyoming Indian Paintbrush X5509
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Wyoming Indian Paintbrush, or Narrow-leaf Indian Paintbrush (C. liniariifolia) is the state flower of Wyoming. Both of these shots were taken in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Scarlet_Indian_Paintbrush_X5092


Scarlet Indian Paintbrush X5092
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A Scarlet Indian Paintbrush (C. coccinea) taken beside the Camp May Trail on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

Chiming_Bells_X5090


Chiming Bells X5090
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Chiming Bells (or Mountain Bluebells), a member of the Borage family, on the Camp May Trail, Pajarito Mountain.

Chiming_Bells_X5516


Chiming Bells X5516
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Chiming Bells in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain.

Chiming_Bells_X5520


Chiming Bells X5520
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Chiming Bells grow in subalpine meadows and near creeks.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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James_Geranium_X5056


James Geranium X5056
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James Geranium on the Camp May Trail, Pajarito Mountain. A similar plant to the Richardson Geranium (right), it was used by Indians as an astringent and as a gargle for sore throat.

Richardson_Geranium_X5063


Richardson Geranium X5063
(254 KB)

The Richardson Geranium has lighter, purple-veined flowers compared to the James Geranium. Both were taken on the Camp May Trail, on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

Richardson_Geranium_Jemez_River_X5139


Richardson Geranium Jemez River X5139
(302 KB)

The Richardson Geranium tends to grow in moist, partially shaded areas at higher altitudes
in meadows or forest openings and beside streams. The flowers in this group of three images
were taken beside the East Fork of the Jemez River, in the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos.

Richardson_Geranium_Jemez_River_X5137


Richardson Geranium Jemez River X5137
(317 KB)

The anthers have fallen off of the stamens onto the purple-veined petal
 of the foreground flower in these images. This shot was taken at a different
angle, with a darker background which increased the isolation of the subject.

Richardson_Geranium_Jemez_River_X5137c


Richardson Geranium Jemez River X5137c
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A detail crop from the previous image, showing the purple-veined flower petals and
detail of the hairs, stamens, pollen and the fallen anthers of the Richardson Geranium.

Mountain_Avens_X5086


Mountain Avens X5086
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The hair-covered calyx pods of White Dryas, or Mountain Avens, an eight-petaled member of the Rose family. This shot was taken on the Camp May Trail on Pajarito Mountain.

Mountain_Avens_X5529


Mountain Avens X5529
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Mountain Avens (White Dryas), with their white flowers just beginning to emerge from the calyx pods, in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

The three Dryas stadials (Younger, Older and Oldest), the cold periods which interrupted the
warming trend after the Last Glacial Maximum, were all named for this flower because of the
large amounts of its pollen found in ice cores from the periods. It was more widely distributed
at this times because of the tundra environment preferred by this subalpine and arctic flower.

Mountain_Parsley_X5492


Mountain Parsley X5492
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Mountain Parsley, also known as Alpine False Springparsley (Cymopterus lemonii or
Pseudocymopterus montanus), grows in alpine and subalpine grasslands and pine forests.
It has tiny yellow-flowered flat-topped umbrels (shown above) and dark green parsley-like leaves.
This shot was taken in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos, New Mexico.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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Rocky_Mountain_Iris_X5076


Rocky Mountain Iris X5076
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Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis), shot taken on the Camp May Trail on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

Rocky_Mountain_Iris_X5078


Rocky Mountain Iris X5078
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Rocky Mountain Iris (or Western Blue Flag) with its flags still furled in a moist meadow on the Camp May Trail.

Rocky_Mountain_Iris_X5484


Rocky Mountain Iris X5484
(300 KB)

These wild iris (shot in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain) resemble miniature domesticated iris. They are typically found growing from one to two feet tall, with 3” diameter flowers.

Rocky_Mountain_Iris_X5483


Rocky Mountain Iris X5483
(312 KB)

The Rocky Mountain Iris prefers meadows and woods that are moist in the spring, but it is quite drought tolerant. A beardless iris, its flowers range from pale blue to lilac and deep violet.

Rocky_Mountain_Iris_X5498


Rocky Mountain Iris X5498
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Rocky Mountain Iris (Western Blue Flag, Iris missouriensis), in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

Shrubby_Cinquefoil_Potentilla_X5503


Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla X5503
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The young stem and leaf detail of a Shrubby Cinquefoil, or Shrubby Potentilla, in the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain.

Shrubby_Cinquefoil_Potentilla_X5501


Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla X5501
(324 KB)

Formerly known as Shrubby Potentilla, Shrubby Cinquefoil (or Tundra Rose) has been
recently reclassified as Dasiphora fruticosa (from Potentilla fruticosa). A tundra, alpine
and subalpine shrub which grows low to the ground (rarely more than three feet tall), its
hardy and long-flowering characteristics have made it a popular ornamental plant.

Shrubby_Cinquefoil_Potentilla_X5500


Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla X5500
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Detail of a flower of Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa floribunda), formerly known as
Shrubby Potentilla. Many nurseries still use the Potentilla name. Each plant usually produces
ten or more flowers, each flower with up to 25 stamens, and flowers throughout the summer.

Shrubby_Cinquefoil_Potentilla_X5500c


Shrubby Cinquefoil Potentilla X5500c
(319 KB)

A close detail crop of the saucer-shaped flower and stamens of Shrubby Cinquefoil,
surrounded by the hairy sepal-like bracts. From the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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Orange_Mountain_Dandelion_X5490


Orange Mountain Dandelion X5490
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The Orange Mountain Dandelion is less widespread than the common dandelion, and can be found scattered in subalpine meadows such as the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain.

Shooting_Star_Jemez_River_X5144


Shooting Star Jemez River X5144
(603 KB)

The Shooting Star (Dodecatheon), taken on the East Fork of the Jemez River, is in the Primrose family. Variations can be difficult to distinguish, but this is probably D. pulchellum.

Golden_Banner_Golden_Pea_X5102


Golden Banner Golden Pea X5102
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Known as Golden Banner, Golden Pea, Mountain Thermopsis and False Lupine,
Thermopsis montana is a three to four foot perennial in the Pea family with broad
lanceolate leaves and yellow pea-shaped lupine-like flowers. It grows in mountain
 forests and meadows such as on the Camp May Trail on Pajarito Mountain, NM.

Golden_Banner_Golden_Pea_X5062


Golden Banner Golden Pea X5062
(302 KB)

Thermos in Greek means “lupine” and Opsis means “similar”, so the genus name reflects its similarity to the Lupine.

Golden_Banner_Golden_Pea_X5103


Golden Banner Golden Pea X5103
(267 KB)

Differences other than the height and density of flower clusters is that Lupines have more than the Thermopsis’ three leaflets.

Golden_Banner_Golden_Pea_X5105


Golden Banner Golden Pea X5105
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Close detail of a flower cluster of a Golden Banner on the Camp May Trail, with a serendipitously present insect.

Baneberry_Jemez_River_X5141


Baneberry Jemez River X5141
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Baneberry (Actaea, aka Bugbane), is in the Buttercup family. This specimen is from the East Fork of the Jemez River.

Baneberry_X5066


Baneberry X5066
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Actaea (Baneberry or Bugbane), from the Camp May Trail on Pajarito Mountain.
While berries were not yet visible, it is likely that this is Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra).

Actaea berries are white or red depending on species, and are quite toxic to humans and
rabbits, although they are harmless to birds who gobble them up and disperse the seeds.

Rocky_Mountain_Clematis_X5109


Rocky Mountain Clematis X5109
(340 KB)

Rocky Mountain Clematis (Clematis columbiana), on the Camp May Trail, Pajarito Mountain.
A vine in the Buttercup family, it is also known as Rock Clematis and Blue Virgin’s Bower. It
grows low to the ground, generally in shaded, moist forested areas at the base of mountains.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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Meadow_Chickweed_X5527


Meadow Chickweed X5527
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Meadow Chickweed, aka Field or Mouse-Ear Chickweed (Cerastium arvense strictum)
growing in a vast blanket across the Ski Meadow on Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos.

Meadow_Chickweed_X5527c


Meadow Chickweed X5527c
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A detail crop from the left side of the master image of X5527 shows the flowers,
 with five white petals (each petal with two lobes) and five hairy sepals at the base.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5121


Kittentail Jemez River X5121
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Kittentail (Besseya plantaginea, or White River Coraldrops), from the East Fork of the Jemez River above Los Alamos.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5119


Kittentail Jemez River X5119
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The primary difference between the White River and Alpine Kittentails is that the leaves are oblong vs. heart-shaped.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5152


Kittentail Jemez River X5152
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Kittentails (Besseya) are in the process of being reclassified in the Veronica genus, thus the species name is seen as both Besseya plantaginea and Veronica plantaginea.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5145


Kittentail Jemez River X5145
(368 KB)

The elongated terminal flower spike stands atop a stem with wooly hairs. The purplish-pink corollas rise from dense wooly bases to the anther filaments in this unusual flower.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5289


Kittentail Jemez River X5289
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Detail of mature flower spikes of the White River Kittentail (Besseya or Veronica plantaginea),
taken on the trail beside the East Fork of the Jemez River, in the mountains above Los Alamos.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5282


Kittentail Jemez River X5282
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A somewhat shorter pair of White River Kittentails.

Kittentail_Jemez_River_X5295


Kittentail Jemez River X5295
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Detail of mature flower spikes of White River Kittentails.

Kittentail_Skipper_Jemez_River_X5296


Kittentail Skipper Jemez River X5296
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A Skipper chows down on nectar from a White River Kittentail on the East Fork of the Jemez River.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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Evening_Primrose_Bryce_Canyon_X1840


Evening Primrose Bryce Canyon X1840
(445 KB)

An Evening Primrose shot in the early morning on the Fairyland Trail.
The flowers open rapidly near evening, and close by the late morning.

Evening_Primrose_Bryce_Canyon_X2047


Evening Primrose Bryce Canyon X2047
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Another Evening Primrose, shot the next day and about an hour later on the Navajo Trail.

Goldenweed_Bryce_Canyon_X2087


Goldenweed Bryce Canyon X2087
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One of numerous similar Pyrrocoma called Goldenweed.
These daisy-like Asters may be Pyrrocoma racemosa,
which is also known as the Clustered Goldenweed.

Wyoming_Paintbrush_Bryce_Canyon_X2086


Wyoming Paintbrush Bryce Canyon X2086
(422 KB)

The Wyoming Paintbrush grows on rocky slopes in the
Pinyon Pine and Juniper woodlands. These brilliant red
mountain flowers bloom between June and September.

Evening_Primrose_Red_Canyon_X2174


Evening Primrose Red Canyon X2174
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A detail shot of an Evening Primrose on the Cassidy Trail, with the edges of the flower
just beginning to turn up in the light of day. The flowers open in the evening (hence the name)
and are pollinated at night by moths and certain specialized bees. The flowers close each day.

Evening_Primrose_Desert_Holly_Red_Canyon_X2171


Evening Primrose Desert Holly Red Canyon X2171
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Another species of Evening Primrose beside a Desert Holly at sunrise on the Cassidy Trail.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the New Mexico Scenic Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Link to the Mountain Wildflower images:

Mountain Wildflowers

Mountain Flowers
(Garden Section, includes other areas)

Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon, Utah
Flora & Fauna of Red Canyon, Utah

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