Friday, July 25, 2014

Alaska Wild Flowers

Alaska is blessed with beautiful colors in the Summer.  
Purple Lupin start the color procession in the early Summer.
They are followed by the pinks of the Alaska Rose
There are two types of Alaska Rose that grow in Petersburg, the Sitka Rose and the Nootka Rose.  They look very much alike, especially the flower, however, if you look closely at the leaves and bushes you will see a bit of a difference.  The Sitka Rose is found in a rose bush.  The Sitka leaves are a bit larger than the Nootka Rose leaves.  They are a little more clumped together and a little darker green.  

The Nootka Rose is found on a spindly bush.  These roses are climbers.  The Sitka Rose flower looks just like the Nootka Rose flower. The 5-7 leaf bunches are flatter and more spread apart than the Sitka Rose leaves.  The most significant difference seems to be the fact that the Sitka Rose is a bush and the Nootka Rose is a climber.

In all of my years living in Alaska, I have never seen this!  This Sitka Rose bush is right next to the road.  Isn't it lovely!  I wonder if it's an albino rose.  Is there any such thing?

The Wild Celery were abundant this year.  There wasn't a dry eye in town and I bet these plants were the culprit.  Don't let the delicate white flower fool you.  They carry a powerful pollen punch.
Little yellow Monkey Flowers bring color to the ditches along the roadway.
Yellow Arnica also dot the landscape along the roadside.
The Wandering Fleabane grows in the drier parts of the muskeg.
The White Bog Orchid is another little muskeg flower.
Orange Hawkweed grows along the roadside and in meadows. While this is an invasive species, not native to Alaska, it is a lovely addition to the colorful show.
Another orange beauty is the delicate Wild Columbine. While both flowers have a yellow center, surrounded by an orange flower, they are very different looking.

 My wildflower post wouldn't be complete without the blue and yellow of Alaska's State flower, the Forget-me-not and the sweet yellow Buttercup.  The ditches along the roadside are a cloud of blue and yellow during Midsummer.
Fireweed flowers bloom in later summer.  According to one source, when the top flowers of the Fireweed have bloomed, Summer is over.

The summer season in Southeast Alaska is pretty short.  We are so lucky to have such colorful beauty during these months.

Linking to:
A Round Tuit You're Gonna Love It Tuesday Take A Look Tuesday Project Parade #3