I mentioned this time last year that March is typically the snowiest month in the Denver area. Well, true to form and just two days from the first day of spring, we have snow on the ground again. But it’s all good. We certainly need the moisture. Otherwise how would all of these pretty wildflowers grow?
Today’s Colorado wildflower is the Whipple Penstemon. There are bunches of species of penstemon in Colorado, the common name of which is beardtongue. According to Wikipedia:
The most distinctive feature of the genus is the prominent staminode, an infertile stamen. The staminode takes a variety of forms in the different species; while typically a long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, some are longer and extremely hairy, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name beardtongue.
The Whipple Penstemon, aka Dusky Beardtongue, grows only in subalpine and alpine areas of Colorado’s mountains. The flowers can be found in two different shades: purple and a creamy white.
Purple Dusky Penstemon, Ouzel Falls Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park
Creamy white Dusky Penstemon, Lake Isabelle Trail, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area