Sunday, July 14, 2019

Visiting Colorado--Wildflowers of Rabbit Ears Pass

Rabbit Ears Peak, 2015
Rabbit Ears in 2015
Rabbit Ears Peak is a landmark in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests in northern Colorado. At one time there were two distinct ears (photo above), in 2017 part of one fell, so more imagination is needed today. (Article after photo: link). Close by, Rabbit Ears Pass takes Colorado Route 40 west to Steamboat Springs. Most summers, the wildflowers are spectacular.

fireweed Chamaenerion
A big stand of fireweed (Chamaenerion)

wildflowers, Dumont Lake, CO

You can see quite a lot at the junction of Routes 40 and 14
wildflowers, Junciton 40 and 14, Colorado
wildflowers where Route 40 and 14 meet
but going into the nearby wilderness, for example to Dumont Lake Campground, surrounds you in flowers.

fields of flowers near Rabbit Ears Pass

Lots of different flowers, depending on the week and the year 

orange agroseris Agroseris aurantiaca
orange agroseris Agroseris aurantiaca
(sunflower and dandelion family, Asteraceae)
columbine, Aquilegia, Colorado Rockies
Colorado columbine, Aquilegia coerulea(buttercup family, Ranunculaceae)
larkspur, northern Colorado
larkspur, likely Geyer's larkspur, Deliphinium geyeri
(buttercup and columbine family, Ranunculaceae)
aster and wild buckwheat, Colorado Rockies
The pink flower is an aster, Symphyotrichum sp. (sunflower family Asteraceae)
the orange is the seed heads of a wild buckwheat 
probably sulfur flower (Eriogonum umbellatum,
 buckwheat family Polygonaceae) which is common and quite variable in color

wildflowers near Rabbit Ears Pass
the blue-purple is Colorado columbine (Aquilegia coerulea,
buttercup family Ranunculaceae), the red is Indian paintbrush
(likely Castilleja miniata, red Indian paintbrush, broomrape family Orobanchaceae)
I can't identify the white flower from the photo.
And of course, lots more
wildflowers near Rabbit Ears Pass

I don't expect to get there this summer (2019), but the record snowpack should make a record display of flowers.

Comments and corrections welcome.

Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. BRIT Press, Fort Worth, Texas...but any errors in identification are mine. 

Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist

1 comment:

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