new plant species, 2009 -part 1

February 13, 2010

These are photos of plant species I learned to identify and first took decent photos of during 2009.  I have split this category into two posts.  This is part 1, and part 2 will follow.


early May 09, utah milkvetch (Astragalus utahensis), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

This grows in pinion-juniper / sagebrush habitat around 5,200 ft elevation.  This widespread species is probably the one member of this many-specied genus I feel confident in identifying (and I’m still not fully certain).


mid May 09, yellow avalanche lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

These have a short and early flowering period, but can surely light up a hillside during that time.  This species can occur both in full sun and in areas mostly shaded.  In the shaded areas in blooms prior to the time the surrounding trees have fully leafed out.


late May 09, mat rockspirea (Petrophyton caespitosum), southern Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

This “rockmat” I have seen in at least two other ranges also–Utah’s Wasatch and Sheeprocks.  I used to think it only grew on limestone, but in the Sheeprocks it can grow on expansive granite.  It is a member of the Rose Family, although one would probably not guess that easily.


late May 09, prairie thermopsis (Thermopsis rhombifolia), southern Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

This colorful legume grows in Nevada’s Southern Snake at the edges of marshy areas and in the mostly dry creekside areas that must get wet only occasionally.  I would have probably noticed it within Utah also, if its blooming period extended longer.


late May 09, cleftleaf wildheliotrope (Phacelia crenulata), northern Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

This species can grow so densely along some dry dirt roads, one might guess it is an invasive species; but it’s not.


late May 09, bitter root (Lewisia rediviva), Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

I bumped into a patch of this my first time visiting the Simpsons and had no idea what it was.  Then I saw a photo posted on the Utah Native Plant Society website, and figured out this was the same species.  The genus name comes from Merriweather Lewis, of ‘Lewis and Clark.’


mid June 09, indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), Canyon Mtns, Millard Co, UT

There is a broad isolated patch of this that grows in a south-facing hollow here.  I have also seen this species in Utah with green rather than these bright red stems.


early July 09, littleleaf mockorange (Philadelphus microphyllus), Deep Creek Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

When I photographed this remains the only time I have seen this in flower.  It probably surpasses Utah Agave as my favorite new plant species found that season.  The scent of the blooms is sensational.


early July 09, flatbud pricklypoppy (Argemone munita), Deep Creek Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

These were growing in a dry gravelly wash.  This species is easy to see along dirt roads in western Utah.


late July 09, seep monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

These grow at a spring in a canyon bottom, where the other blooming species is Penstemon rostriflorus.


late July 09, wirelettuce (Stephanomeria sp.), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

I have noticed this genus growing very plentifully in a couple of sites in western Utah.  Initially I misidentified this as Arenaria fendleri (fendlers sandwort), but was thankfully corrected regarding genus by a professional botanist who looked at this post.  I am uncertain of the species designation, and can see by the USU digital database that two Stephanomeria species occur here in the southwestern quadrant of Utah.  This must be either S. pauciflora or S. minor; but I’m still uncertain which one.  I can see by the range map that fendlers sandwort is well-distributed across Utah.  I’ve probably seen it without noticing it, & I hope to be able to identify that species someday.  Thanks for the correction.


late July 09, nakedstem sunray (Enceliopsis nudicaulis), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

At first when I noticed this species here, I figured it was some type of Eriogonum, since that is what the leaves seem like.  Then I examined the old flower-heads that indicated it was an aster.


douglas dustymaiden, Mineral Mtns

late July 09, douglas dustymaiden (Chaenactis douglasii), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

Someday I will succeed in a better photo of this very common species and its fun, filigreed leaves.

Part 2 of this category continues in my next post and contains several more species I found later in 2009.


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