Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My reliable wildflowers return

In Arizona you quickly learn that all the wild plants are both tough and opportunistic. Thus, as the chance of a deep frost has receded, my perennial wildflowers have sprung to life quickly, taking advantage of all that winter rain I've raved on about. My barbatus penstemon, for example, has started numerous flower stalks in the midst of all those leaves. R.E.D. and reliable, too. Is quite happy to get lots of water, though it doesn't count on it. That's unlike the tall pink Palmers penstemon, which can be drowned.

Dainty leaves like these belong to our local wild columbine, which is a canary yellow -- and prolific, growing wherever seeds fall, if there's a bit of water. So I have a lot of yellow columbines. There's a red and yellow form that grows at lower elevations and up in the high country you might come across a blue and white Rocky Mountain variety, if you are lucky.

Old reliable this four o'clock is. Once it builds that huge tuber down at the middle of the earth, it will come up every year and bloom as long as it gets water -- not the usual pattern for perennials which focus on a fast crop of seeds to keep the species going.

This picture of two new, intertwined white evening primroses was taken 3/28/08. Already both plants have buds about to open. I have to keep my fingers crossed because the javelina find the roots quite tasty.

A very happy California poppy (sort of red) and above it, the pink Palmer's penstemon, with flower stalks taking off. As I've written before, the poppies are perennial here in Prescott if they get a certain amount of water and thus the plants grow to an impressive size.

I don't know if you recall this particular Indian paint brush plant. Last year, its red bracts stayed bright -- and multiplied for much of the summer, producing a spectacular show. The picture above is from 3/28. Now look below for the picture I took yesterday! Already on its way to another showy year.

Linkages: Warren of Touch the Wind is up in Oregon and tonight showed some excellent street art, including an almost-elephant, with young on its back. And, on the subject of street art, Tombo has scored more colorful graffiti -- not the f**k or s**t kind, thank goodness; potty mouth is not only vulgar, it's a B-O-R-E! And PrescottStyle offers pictures from the McCain appearance.


OmegaMom said...

Very nice! Sigh. You get wildflowers...we get snow...

Catalyst said...

Very nice, indeed.

And showing the attention of a loving gardener.

Granny J said...

That's alright -- they were getting snow flurries up in Flag today. BTW, according to my most recent APS statement, our temps in the most recent month were 2 degrees colder on average than last year. For the preceding month, the difference was -4 degrees.

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- they really don't take much care or even concern about the soil. Give 'em the periodic watering & they will perform! That's why I like wildflowers!!!

Anonymous said...

It will be a couple or three weeks before things start growing here. Still chilly here.

Prescottstyle said...

I sure hope we don't get a late freeze this year. All the budding trees and flowers we got now sure would look great in the summer. Not to mention we need the apples this year!

Anonymous said...

I kept wondering when you were going to show a flowering plant. You saved it for last. Pretty sneaky.

TomboCheck said...

Thanks for the link. :)

That Indian Paintbrush is awesome!! I've always loved the look of them.

Granny J said...

steve -- today was brrr-type chilly from a cold front passing through. Thing is, our plants start leafing as soon as very possible to get a head start on things before any heat sets in.

style -- the apples usually weather a late freeze, unlike my apricots. I make a point of picking up apples that have fallen from old, old trees around town. Better flavor than what you get from Washington State in the supermarkets.

boonie -- but of course. Dessert after the main course.

tombo -- there was a stretch along Coronado Street that had a wonderful spread of paintbrush. Until the city did some "improvements."

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see your photo of the Columbine!

~Anon in AV.

GrannyJ said...

anon av -- the columbine won't bloom for a month or so -- they usually have to get reasonably large first. BTW, they will put on additional blossoms over the season if you keep dead-heading the plants.

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