For a wrap-up of other areas and what’s been blooming, check out:
Blooming in Monument Valley Park – All Posts.

As promised, this week we’ll look at a couple of the berries and seedheads that you can now see in the park. I can’t resist adding a couple of new blooming plants as well. Many of the plants highlighted in last week’s post are still blooming as well.

padusberriesred.jpgWe’ll start at the parking lot where Fontanero Street ends at the park and head west down the hill. Turn right at the dumpster and walk north on the path. After about 1/4 mile, you will notice some LARGE shrubs on the east side of the path with lots of small red to reddish-black berries. This is our old friend the native chokecherry (Padus virginiana) that we saw blooming back in May. The berries are edible, though not terribly tasty (hence the name?) and a bit astringent. Reportedly, the riper, blacker berries are sweeter. The fruit are a favorite with bears and in other areas of town, it can be difficult to see many berries because of this.
padusberriesblack.jpg (more…)

Wow, this has been one heck of a year for the park. There is so much going on plant-wise that I can hardly keep up! Once again, I’ve whittled this post down to a few new or interesting plants. Put on your walking shoes, and let’s go!

(If you’re interested, you can see all of the posts for what’s been blooming in Monument Valley Park this year at :
Blooming in Monument Valley Park – All Posts)

This week, we’ll start at the parking lot where Fontanero Street ends at the park and walk about a mile loop, starting north.

Near Parking Lot


Ximenesia encelioides

If you walk to the path by the parking lot, you’ll very quickly notice a small group of tall yellow flowers blooming on the west side of the trail under a pine. The leaf is rather large and toothed. This plant is an alien and is called Goldweed or Cowpen Daisy (Ximenesia encelioides). Not surprisingly, given the cowpen daisy name, it can sometimes be found in corrals. (more…)

The rain is back! To celebrate, we’ll look at a new area in the park today. Many of the flowers in this area are not blooming elsewhere in the park. (You’ll be happy to hear that the Colorado Springs Parks and Rec Maintenance Manager has agreed to meet with me to see the areas that we’ve been following, so that he can tell his crew to not mow them! Thanks Kurt!)

For a wrap-up of other areas and what’s been blooming, check out:
Natives Blooming in Monument Valley Park – All Posts

Creekside Area

Warning – Wear shoes you don’t mind getting a bit muddy!
Park at the small lot where Fontanero ends at the park, and walk west, down the hill. Instead of turning right at the dumpster, continue straight so that you’ll pass under the bridge.


Rumex crispus

On your way towards the bridge, you’ll notice a plant blooming on the right that looks like, well, rusty on top. This is Curly Dock (Rumex crispus). This non-native (a.k.a. alien) has large leaves that are wavy along the edges and the rusty stalks on top are the “fruit” or seeds; the flowers were green.

Q: What are the rules for the plantings that are next to my sidewalk? What about in that area between the sidewalk and the street? I understand that belongs to the city, so do they take care of it?

A: By Colorado Springs City Code, property owners are required to keep their sidewalks clear of obstructions, debris, and dangerous conditions. This means we need to trim shrubs from encroaching over sidewalks. Time to get out the pruners!

The city has set out guidelines for its residents, encouraging them to conserve the natural environment and to conserve water. Beyond that, there are ordinances and codes (shown in parentheses) that set guidelines for public safety, found at

Weeds – A weed is any plant that grows without cultivation, and is not grown for the purpose of landscaping or food production. We need to keep our yards trimmed to 9”or less (9.6.302). (more…)