Wildflower Summer 11


This post simply celebrates the Summer of the Wildflower. We’ve been living in the Keys for 20+ years and there are very few annuals, perennials, or wildflowers there, so I’m the first to admit that we might be more susceptible to wildflower charms than the usual tourist to Canada & Alaska. But I really think that the wildflowers have been extraordinary, and we have both been bowled over by them throughout our trip. I remember wildflower season in Virginia peaking in early summer & then tapering off to just a few here & there by summers’ end. But nearly everywhere in Alaska that your eye falls there are blooms, and they have continued to wow us all season. Even on the tundra on the tiniest of plants there have been blooms, and non-blooming plants are often just as interesting in their form or function. I’ve identified plants where I could, and please feel free to shout out if you know what the unnamed ones are.

[This post is dedicated to my mother-in-law Chris, who suffers through the long, long winters of Wisconsin!]

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AC tundra lichen2

Bees in the Lupine

Bees in the Lupine

 

Bog Star

Bog Star

 

Fireweed - Chamerion angustifolium

Fireweed – Chamerion angustifolium

 

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Okay, I snuck this one in because it's from Wyoming, but still gorgeous.

Okay, I snuck this one in because it’s from Wyoming, but still gorgeous.

 

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Dwarf Dogwood - Cornus canadensis - in spring

Dwarf Dogwood – Cornus canadensis – in spring

 

Dwarf Dogwood in fall

Dwarf Dogwood in fall

 

Fall is here

Fireweed and bee

Fireweed and bee

 

Fireweed - it's everywhere in Alaska!

Fireweed – it’s everywhere in Alaska!

 

Foxtail Barley

Foxtail Barley

 

Foxtail Barley2

Foxtail Barley

 

Ground Cone - Boschniakia hookeri. This is a parasitic plant: it taps into the roots of salal bushes and steals nutrients. It does actually flower, although these appear to be finished.

Ground Cone – Boschniakia hookeri. This is a parasitic plant: it taps into the roots of salal bushes and steals nutrients. It does actually flower, although these appear to be finished.

 

Horsetail

Horsetail

 

Lupine

Lupine

 

Mountain or Low-Bush Cranberry

Mountain or Low-Bush Cranberry

 

Northern Monkshood

Northern Monkshood

 

Prickly Rose

Prickly Rose

 

River Beauty

River Beauty

 

River Beauty - Chamerion latifolium

River Beauty – Chamerion latifolium

 

A willow rose. This isn't actually a flower: a parasitic fly lays an egg in the growing tip of a willow tree branch in spring. The presence of the parasite causes the leaves to grow in this rosette shape. The fly larva stays in the tip of the branch, protected from the cold weather by the willow, and it hatches in spring.

A willow rose. This isn’t actually a flower: a parasitic fly lays an egg in the growing tip of a willow tree branch in spring. The presence of the parasite causes the leaves to grow in this rosette shape. The fly larva stays in the tip of the branch, protected from the cold weather by the willow, and it hatches in spring.

 

Siberian aster

Siberian aster

 

Snow Parsley

Snow Parsley

 

tundra dunno

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tundra plants

Twinflower - Linnaea borealis

Twinflower – Linnaea borealis

 

Watermelon berry. Tasty, but filled with tiny seeds.

Watermelon berry. Tasty, but filled with tiny seeds.

 

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11 thoughts on “Wildflower Summer

    • Jet Post author

      Thanks Jerry! Most of those were taken with my Nikon D300s and a Nikkor 18-300mm lens. Others were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S9700.

  • Chris Solberg

    Jeanette, thank you for dedicating this lovely post to me!!!! You know my love for flowers and what a long winter we have in Wisconsin.
    Your pictures are stunningly beautiful!!!! When I’m having trouble waiting for spring I will be able to visit your flower pictures over and over. Thanks again. Love, Chris

  • Diae

    Most awesome camera you have. You could probably sell some of your pictures for gas money:). Just a thought.Enjoy every minute. September is almost here! Love you both.

  • Kerensa

    Yay! Wildflowers! I love them so much.
    I have to say thank you for doing all the research on the names. Although we’ve been in Colorado and not Alaska, a lot of the flowers are the same; we have been in the mountains and tundra after all. I’ll be referring back to your post when we write ours, heehee. AND just want I want to see more flowers.

    • Jet Post author

      We have the Yukon Territory and a lovely volunteer at their visitor center to thank for that. I described a flower for her & asked if she knew what it was, and she pulled out a set of small booklets on wildflowers, amphibians, bats, bears, fish, & butterflies! They’re beautifully illustrated and since, as you pointed out, they cover some common species, I’m going to keep them with my small stash of reference guides. We have gotten so much valuable info from Visitor’s Centers this trip that it’s made me a firm believer in stopping in when we enter a new state, province, etc. The folks there are eager to help you get the most out of your visit!