This is the year for the Prickly Roses. I know there are people in our area that try to eradicate them from their yards, but I just love them and have even had some success planting them into a couple of beds closer to the house. I grew up with wild yellow roses in Wyoming and while these pink ones are more delicate they are just as beautiful.
Yellow Paintbrush, I'd never heard of such a thing until we moved here. Wyoming is loaded with a red version that is called Indian Paintbrush, but the pale yellow is just as beautiful.
Arctic Lupine are always these bright pop of blueish-purple in the middle of nowhere. The leaves are almost as beautiful as the flowers, and after a summer rain, water droplets collect in the centers of the leaves, and it almost looks like glass globes.
This little pink flower is a new find in our yard this year, it's called Pink Pussytoes. I'd never seen this before and assumed it was a flower that had yet to fully bloom. I was wrong, this is full bloom, hence the name Pussytoes.
Little tiny Low Brush Cranberry blossoms, hidden in the grass. They look similar to the Kinnikinnick Berry but are paler pink and more bell-shaped than the urn shape of the Kinnikinnick flower. I'll be harvesting some cranberries this year. Will be a bit of a free harvest kind of thing, wild fruit is a bonus harvest.
There are pockets of tall spindly Hawksbeard all over our yard. They just kind of pop up where they like. They seem to prefer the more rocky soil pockets in our yard, where there is little to no topsoil.
This is also an amazing year for Wild Strawberries. There are blossoms covering entire patches of our yard. Another free bounty for harvesting when the berries ripen.
Cinquefoil is found in three species around our yard, this one is the Arctic Cinquefoil. Similar to the Hawksbear, it seems to like rocky areas, mostly found in our driveway. I've successfully transplanted it to one of my flower beds we'll talk about tomorrow.
The tiny white flowers of the White Northern Oxytrope remind me of snapdragons. One more of the rocky soil lovers, bordering our driveway.
Hairy Arnica grows in a small patch of our front yard, near the driveway entrance. I mowed around them so that they could continue to bloom. The butterflies seem to love them.
Bunch Berry, beautiful white flowers with broad green leaves. When the berries form they will be a vivid bright orange, and while considered edible, they are said to be tasteless and not harvest worthy.
Northern Bedstraw, the flowers are so tenny tiny they're had to capture with a camera. Might have to try getting a better shot with a macro lens. I've been told this was once harvested, dried, and put into straw mattresses to make the bed smell more"sweet" and "fresh".
Northern Yarrow grows all over our yard. I've also had success transplanting it to the bed we'll talk about later this week. This is another favorite of the pollinators that visit our yard.
Small-Flowered Oxytrope seems to be a small pale purple version of the White Northern Oxytrope. I still see mini snapdragons when I look at them.
High-Brush Cranberry, which is the cranberry I'm told makes great ketchup but smells of old socks while you're cooking it into said ketchup. More tiny flowers, hard to capture in a photo.
Grove Sandwort, took me a bit to identify. I initially thought it could be chickweed, but the flowers weren't the right number of petals. These are also tenny tiny flowers.
Hooker's Potentilla Cinquefoil is variety two, of the Cinquesfoils in our yard. This one loves to grow in the gravel in front of our house.
Alpine Milk Vetch is a lovely little purple flower, similar to the Oxytrope varieties in our yard. It's growing in a corner of our yard by one of the downspouts of our rain gutters.
Shrubby Cinquefoil, also known as the Tundra Rose is number three in the Cinquefoil yard trifecta. I always call it the bank bush because it's very similar to what many of the banks in our home town used for landscaping.
If you're interested in the books I used to identify the wildflowers in our yard check out Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers and Wildflowers Along the Alaska Highway both by Verna E. Pratt. I also have copies of Alaska's Wild Plants: a Guide to Alaska's Edible Harvest by Janice J. Schofield and Alaska's Wild Berries and Berry-Like Fruit by Verna E. Pratt. All of these are great books if you want to identify the wild plants in Alaska. I'm considering snagging a copy of Alaska's Wild Plants, Revised Edition: A Guide to Alaska's Edible and Healthful Harvest by Janice J. Schofield to add to my collection.
I truly enjoy wandering around my own yard identifying plants, but I also enjoy doing the same while we're out on a day trip or camping. I would like to find a mushroom book as well. I've been giving some thought to buying the glossy National Audobon field guide books for North America, the ones with all the beautiful color pictures, one volume at a time. I would want the wildflower, mushroom, and bird books for sure.