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Wildflowers of White Wolf: Sierra Gentian, Crimson Columbine, and Giant Mountain Larkspur

August 11, 2012 Posted by: AH - Mather District Interpretive Ranger

Sierra Gentian
Gentianopsis holopetela
    
Fringed Sierra Gentian  Fringed Sierra Gentian - close up

August 11, 2012
White Wolf Area

The Sierra Gentian has been blooming for over a week now in the White Wolf area. Often one of the last flowers to bloom in a season, it is simultaneously a lovely and sad thing to see.


Crimson Columbine
Aquilegia formosa
  
Crimson Columbine - flower  Crimson Columbine - Fruit

August 5, 2012
Trail between Harden Lake and Pate Valley

Crimson Columbine has been blooming for a few weeks along the trails headed out of White Wolf. Now some of these flowers have gone to fruit and look like little jester's hats. Perhaps they also look a bit like the talon of an eagle. The scientific name for the Columbine genus is Aquilegia, maybe for this very reason (some eagles, like the Golden Eagle, are in the genus Aquila)!

Giant Mountain Larkspur
Delphinium glaucum
    
Giant Mountain Larkspur  Giant Mountain Larkspur - close up

August 5, 2012
Trail to Harden Lake from White Wolf

After becoming familiar with the Small Larkspur (Delphinium depauperatum) blooming for a few weeks along the trail between White Wolf to Lukens Lake, it was a surprise to come across a few clusters of Giant Mountain Larkspur (Delphinium glaucum) in a wet area on my way to Harden Lake. Though the Giant Mountain Larkspur is much taller and has a denser cluster of flowers, both species have a similarly captivating intense bluish-purple color that sort of jumps out of the landscape to grab your attention.


wildflowers




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Did You Know?

Low intensity fire in Yosemite

Natural fires in Yosemite are often no more than a single burning snag (standing dead tree) or a slow moving, low intensity fire that cleans underbrush from the forest floor. These fires prevent unwanted fires by removing accumulating forest debris that can fuel a larger fire in hot, dry conditions.