Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prairie Plants

Back after a break with more prairie pictures from June's "Potholes and Prairies" birding festival, in Carrington, ND.

I didn't get to do as much botanizing as I would have like to on this trip. For one thing, I spent so much time looking out across the wide open spaces of the prairie that I sort of forgot about looking down, to see all the little wildflowers hidden in the thick grasses. For another, most of the time, I was weighed down with heavy rain gear and carrying binoculars and spotting scope. I didn't have enough hands to manage a camera, too. Still, I got a few precious shots to share with you.

Ball Cactus

This was my biggest surprise, cactus plants on the prairie.

Blanket Flower, Gaillardia

Prairie Rose
Prairie Smoke
I think the Prairie Smoke was my favorite.

I had to pull out all the stops and e-mail pics to the Science Chimp in order to get an ID on this one when I got back home. Trust Julie; even though she had not seen it before, she came up with a name for me:

Tufted Loosestrife
The group consensus on this one was "some kind of vetch"

And finally, an unknown. Can anybody ID this little prairie flower from these two, admittedly poor quality, photos?


dguzman said...

We used to get Prairie Smoke all over the place in Texas. I always called it "little-old-man-hair."

The leaves of your mystery flower look like those of a lupine... otherwise, I got nothin'.

Julie Zickefoose said...

That's Scarlet Globe Mallow, but it isn't open. You'd have nailed it as a hibiscus if it had been--five petals and a little central tufty of stamens. Yee! Glad to help!