The sentinels of spring, the first set of flowers to bloom on the Berry Prairie, the indicators that, at the very least, not everything died on the green roof over the winter.
There are three and a half species in bloom right now on the Berry Center's awakening green roof. Below is a pictorial guide to their happy existence, a Glamour Shots of sorts, with less hairspray and awkward clothing, and more natural beauty.
Glamour Shots: Pasque, Twinpod, Draba, and Prairie Smoke
Pasque flowers (Pulsatilla or Anemone patens) are a common forb found in foothills of the Rocky Mountain west and northern Midwest, one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. The photo below accents the pubescence (hairs) on the stem, which helps the plant retain heat and moisture in the cool spring weather.
The photo below, also a pasque flower blooming on the Berry Prairie, shows the variation in color and height. This flower is located on the north side of the Prairie, where the water zone allocates more moisture through the growing season. Does moisture from last summer impact the petal coloration?
Devil's Gate Twinpod (Physaria eburniflora) is a tough little plant found exclusively in central Wyoming - no where else in the world! We featured Wyoming endemics last summer - read more here!
Fewseed draba (Draba oligosperma), as you know, were the very first flowers to bloom on the Berry Prairie this spring. Their little flowers add a punch of yellow all over the green roof.
And now for the half-blooming species. It's not really blooming at all, but it's so close I had to include it! Prairie Smoke, or Old Man's Whiskers, (Geum triflorum) has these neat nodding buds that turn into whispy tentacle-looking seed heads. We'll post photos when they get to that point!
General Prairie Status Update
If you're in Laramie, stop by the Berry Prairie to check out the greening up of things. If you're not in town, here's a snapshot of what we look at these days. Now, the snow we're forecasted to get this weekend might change how this looks - but the moisture will be nice!
Written by Brenna Wanous, Berry Center