Whew…what a difference rain makes! Just about everything from last week’s post is still blooming, so I won’t repeat them all here. But there is at least one new plant I want to point out.

Area 1

Park at the small lot where Fontanero ends at the park, and start walking north.

The Four O’ Clock I mentioned last week is still in the drainage ditch, but it seems to be done with its bloom (my book mention it doesn’t bloom for long….too bad. The hot pink magenta color is one of my favorites!).

I’m also noticing more and more spiderwort up in this area as well.

I’ve been seeing lots of yellow flowers and it can be tricky to identify them all. Here is one that I did identify and it is in the field about 30 yards north of the parking lot.

thelesperma_tamu.jpgThreadleaf Yellowrays (Thelesperma filifolium)
This yellow-flowering native strongly resembles some of the threadleaf-type coreopsis that some of us grow in our gardens. The leaves look sort of weak and thread-like, and the flowers are about 2 inches in diameter with brownish highlights to the yellow centers. The petals are bright yellow. I’ve noticed this plant in this same area nearly every year, so it seems to thrive no matter how much water we are getting.

Area 2

From the same parking lot where Fontanero ends at the park, walk to the south. As you head down the hill, you’ll notice the alfalfa I mentioned last week is getting larger and larger! The New Mexico locusts are still blooming too, but their flower color is starting to fade a bit. There used to be a HUGE stand of this at the very north tip of the park, but it was thinned extensively years ago. Apparently, it is an enthusiastic spreader!

At the bottom of the hill, go to the stone walls opposite the dumpster and turn right. The grasses are getting taller and taller, but many of the plants I’ve been pointing out are still blooming along this part of your walk – wild onions, salsify, alfalfa, cowboy’s delight, and even the evening primroses (I’ve never seen them bloom this long before).

From this point, you can enjoy a longer walk by continuing north and looping back to the parking lot (a mile total) or you can take the side trail that joins on the right to loop back to the hill below the parking lot.

Contributed by Carey Harrington, Colorado Master Gardener and Native-Plant-Master-in-Training. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University.

Natives Blooming in Monument Valley Park – All Posts