Spring is arriving in Colorado and one is likely to see many colorful yellow flowers along the trails, in meadows, along streams or in wooded areas. Most of the flowers mentioned in this article grow from the Foothills to Montane or some as high as the Alpine regions above 11,500 feet and they usually form patches of color.
Golden Banner is a member of the Pea Family and produces showy yellow flowers that form loose clusters atop stems. It is common in mountain meadows and along roadsides. Wallflowers can also grow in showy clusters in forest openings, along ridges and in mountain meadows. Individual blossoms, approximately ½ to ¾ wide have 4 petals that is characteristic of a species in the Mustard Family.
Golden Banner Close-up Golden Banner Wallflower Close
Probably the most prevalent flower in spring is the common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale. This flower is actually a non-native invasive plant but there are also native dandelions and dandelion look-alikes such as the False Dandelion, Agoseris glauca, that appears in dry meadows and grassy hillsides. Both the common Dandelion and the False or Mountain Dandelion are part of the Sunflower Family and both have the round seed pod that tempts one to blow it and to scatter seed plumes in the wind.
Want to learn more about identifying wildflowers? All of the wildflowers mentioned above are among the over 285 wildflowers featured in the handy pocket-sized book, Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Field Guide by Linda Nagy. Included in the book are common, scientific and family names plus descriptions, flowering times, habitat, life zones and large, clear photographic images. The book is available on Amazon and on our website. Use code SPRING2021 at www.highcountryartworks.com for an additional 10% off plus free shipping.