I walked in the forest of the hills above Boulder Colorado in mid-June.
Forests grow different plants from fields and prairies. It is same principle as the shade/full sun recommendation for plants for the garden; forests are shady, fields and prairies give short plants full sun. A whole set of conditions follow from shade vs sun: under the forest it is cooler longer and, often, moister. If you want shade or sun to be "better," you have to consider the climate. In a dry climate, shade conserves water. In a rainy climate, the warmth and lower humidity of full sunshine are a relief.
Here are a few of the plants I saw in flower as I rambled through low elevation (5000') forests on the western edge of the city of Boulder.
Most of the chokecherries (Prunus virginiana, rose family, Rosaceae) were through flowering but I did see this one in full bloom. Birds love and spread chokecherries. The flesh of the small cherry is edible but the seeds have unsafe levels of cyanide, so they're usually too much work for humans to prepare.
Also on the ground were clusters of cinquefoils (Potentilla species, rose family, Rosaceae). The name cinquefoil is from "five-leaf," in French and Latin, which is a good description of the common cinquefoils of Europe, tormentil and creeping cinquefoil, Potentilla erecta and P. reptans. They have leaves which, like a hand, divide into five leaflets. The name is a little weird in Colorado, where the leaves of our cinquefoils (there are 32 species!) may divide up into as many as 25 leaflets. This plant had particularly large handsome flowers (and seven leaflets per leaf).
|delicious raspberry, Rubus deliciosus|