The park still looks great and the flowers look fantastic. The rain has been tapering off a bit, but there are still lots of flowers and tall grasses (making finding some of the flowers a little more of a treasure hunt). Once again, 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.
Park at the small lot where Fontanero ends at the park, and start walking north.
The ditch area and the field north of that still have the following plants blooming (see previous posts for photos):
Yellow Salsify (as these go to seed, the seedheads look like baseball-sized dandelion seedheads)
From the same parking lot where Fontanero ends at the park, walk to the south. 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 primrose.
When you get to the point where the side trail joins from the right, look in the beautiful field of flowers on the left, and we have our one new flower here:
I’m going out on a limb here and identifying this as the one-sided penstemon (Penstemon secundiflorus) though I’m open the possibility of it being narrow-leaved penstemon (P. angustifolius) or even tall penstemon (P. virgatus). Penstemon ID can get so tricky! Any thoughts? But the exciting this is that it is here at all. I’ve not seen a penstemon in the north end of the park before. There is only one, so treat it well!
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.
Text and photo contributed by Carey Harrington, Colorado Master Gardener and Native-Plant-Master-in-Training.