Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Clarkia pulchella, blooming in the "new" prairie, 6/22/10

It is spectacular, but a bit deceiving. More significant for the long term are the small clumps of bluish-green Idaho fescue that you can see coming up in the foreground, along with sprouts of various other plants I put in last fall. Clarkia in the wild, and in the more-established parts of the prairie, are usually a few blooms on a little plant maybe eight inches tall. These shrub-sized monsters are the result of not much competition and a very wet Spring. There will be enough seed from these to seed the entire property and then some, and by next year they will be integrated into a more natural landscape. Having an annual plant like this to put in at this early stage is great, though, because it does help to keep out invasive non-native plants and it is a welcome bit of inspiration for the continuing work. Several species in the more established parts of the prairie are just beginning to bloom: lupine, scarlet gilia, yarrow, cinquefoil, and gallardia. When they reach their full glory I will post an image or two.

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