Monday, May 21, 2007

Sulpher Lupines and Mountain Goldenbanner

The most noticeable flowers on our walk this weekend was the Sulphur Lupine Lupinus sulphureus that you can see in the foreground of the first photo. Most of of us think of blue when when we think of lupines, but where we live there are some lovely yellow ones too.

These flowers grow in dense spikes and are a pale sulfur yellow. The leaves are divided palmately (like fingers on the palm of a hand) into 9 to 15 pointed leaflets. The stems and leaves are covered with fine hair.

But there was another yellow flower on the mountain from the same family, the pea family. It is call Mountain Goldenbanner Thermopsis rhombifolia and you can see it in the photos above and below. I think many people could confuse the Mountain Goldenbanner with the Sulpher lupine, but they are not the same plant. The leaves are similar to clovers with three parts. The flowers are large and bright yellow held on a spike above the leaves. The plant is hairless. My guidebook, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, says it is inedible to grazing animals.

And the amazing thing I just heard from a friend who lives at this elevation is that is was snowing huge snowflakes for hours this morning on these very flowers. Who would have guessed this would happen?

2 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Pamela said...

I'm not suprised at the snow flakes.
I was cc-c=c=c=c=old

I had the shivers and shakes all weekend, tho... so I blamed it on a bug.

But it was cold this morning.

I need to go up and photo flowers with you. When are you going again?

La Tea Dah said...

So pretty! We have both kinds of these pretty yellow flowers right in our cabin yard --- just a hop, skip, and jump from the front door. Thanks for the details!