Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    1,122

    Flower Report 2016

    On your local hikes (and rides) this spring, use this thread to help us keep track of where and when you see different wildflowers. Keeping this thread on a yearly basis gives an interesting record to compare the flower progression different years.

    To compare 2016 to other recent years, I've pasted in the very first reports from 2013 and 2014 and 2015 (below). You'll see the first flowers of 2016 are quite similar to 2015 which surprises me because our early winter conditions this year were cold and snowy while 2015 was a surprisingly low-snow and mild winter. Apparently the very mild conditions and rain we've experienced over the past several weeks has put us in similar ground conditions to 2015.

    March 8, 2016. Today I walked the same plot of land described in the lower entries (elevation 1200 feet, eastern to southwestern exposures), which got burned and had all of its sage and bitter brush removed during the Sleepy Hollow fire of 2015. I found fully formed Salt and Pepper as well a half-dozen prairie star flowers. All of these blooms have certainly been out of the ground for several days, so I suspect these first emerged several days ago. Typically blue bells and yellowbells follow close behind but neither of these can be seen yet. The young shoots of balsam roots have erupted from the ground and are growing fast (seems like an inch or two per day) but they are still a ways away from flowering. Last week (March 2) my wife hiked the lower trails of Saddle Rock (Jacobson Preserve) and saw Prairie Stars and a few newly emerged yellowbells.

    March 5, 2015. Given our warmer-than-normal conditions this spring, I was walking the same plot of land described in past years (elevation 1200 feet, eastern to southwestern exposures) around Feb 22. No flowers were present then. I left town for a week and I forgot to walk the area immediately upon by return. Today I wandered through this area and found fully formed Salt and Pepper as well a half-dozen prairie star flowers. All of these blooms have certainly been out of the ground for several days, so I suspect these first emerged March 1 or 2. Typically blue bells and yellowbells follow close behind but neither of these can be seen yet.

    March 15, 2014. On my forays on undeveloped land next to my house (elevation 1200 feet) there are eastern to southwest facing slopes where I typically find my first flowers of the year (buttercups, yellow bells, salt and pepper, prairie star flowers). There's nothing on these plots yet. March 18, 2014. Even in a few days my little plot is seeing significant change. Clusters of balsamroot leaves and flower buds have pushed through the dirt. And I saw one bluebell and a few blooms of salt and pepper (Lomatium gormanii). The latter are a very small flower from the parsley family (Umbelliferae) and are easy to miss.

    March 25, 2013. We’ve been poking around our flower test site – a parcel of sage country near the Sage Hills between (elevation 1200 feet) with both eastern and southern exposures. So far our list of blooming wildflowers is slim. Seen Salt and Pepper (a type of desert parsley or lomatium), lots of prairie stars (saxifrage family), and bluebells (borage family). The arrow-leaf balsamroots (one of the dominant flowers around these parts) is budding and there are some plants in our plot that are close to blooming but the earliest individuals aren’t quite there yet and the majority of balsamroots are still quite a ways in the offing.

  2. #2
    Couple weeks from the peak for Balsamroot but there are some really nice flowers on Homestead trail right now. The hillside on the upper part is covered with a blanket of Spring Beauties. Lots of bluebells and shooting stars in areas. Waterball, prairie stars and yellowbells.

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    1,122
    I've been remiss adding to this report this year (I was out of town for a few weeks in early April as the bloom started to come on strong)

    April 23, 2016: Flowers in the lower Sage Hills on the lands that got burned last summer are not as thick as most years -- in particular the balsamroot and phlox is much diminished on the burned lands. Furthermore, the flower progression seems different than year's past with more early bloomers (e.g., prairie stars) mixed in with flowers that come a little later. Today the list of the flowers that were blooming and looked fresh included: Balsamroot, lupines, larkspur, hawksbeard, phlox, brodiaea, fiddle-neck, groundsel, linear-leaf daisies, death camus (rockier soil), bitterbrush, dwarf waterleaf, stickseed, prairie stars, bare-stem desert parsley, puccoon. The whitetop (noxious weed) is growing strong throughout the lower hills -- fire seemed to help it. Fire was also good for the cheat grass. There is one north-facing slope over near the north end of the Balsamroot Trail where the brodiaea are thick -- never noticed a slope before with this many bordiaea -- worth taking a loop.

    Flowers in the upper Sage Hills that did not burn last summer are much, much thicker with balsamroots than the lower hills that did burn last summer. Interesting to walk up the Lightning Trail from the lower to the upper hills and then to take the trail traversing over to the Horse Lake Reserve. You'll see what I mean about how different the bloom is on land that burned vs. land that didn't burn last summer.

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    1,122
    May 24, 2016, Matt Dahlgreen reports "the Lewisia tweedyi and bitteroot are spectacular on the middle part of the Tronsen Ridge trail."

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •