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Friday, May 8, 2015

Bloom-Fest 2015

The Berry Prairie is rockin.  Eighteen - yes eighteen, as in ten plus four plus four, as in a couple less then twenty - plants have bloomed already this year.  That's practically more than what bloomed all of last year!  Chalk it up to a mild winter, the recent rain and snow falls, the redesign, or maybe it's me and Dorothy sitting out there reading encouraging stories like The Little Engine That Could to these beloved plants.  Whatever the cause, the green roof is alive with whites, yellows, pinks, purples and blues.

Come check out the Bloom Fest in person, or take a tour through the pictures below.  Leave a comment with your vote for your favorite plant!

Start here at the entrance:

Looking ahead, you can see some of the color showing up already.

And if you look just behind you, you'll find a fun little clematis in bloom:

Rock Clematis (Clematis columbiana)

Take a few steps forward, and you've already run into a batch of blooms:

A collection of blooms, including Devil's Gate Twinpod (white; Physaria eburniflora), Sharpleaf Twinpod (yellow; Physaria acutifolia), and the Mountain Ball Cactus (pink; Pediocactus simpsonii).

The Twinpods we've covered before in a previous blog, but the cactus is a new one.  Take a look at the close-up of the flower - gorgeous!

Mountain Ball Cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii)

A little further up the path and to the left, you'll find that the one hold-out of the Fewseed Draba is still in bloom.

Fewseed Draba (Draba oligosperma)

Moving into the foothills, next on the tour is the Dwarf Pussytoes, this compact plant with a sweet white flower.

Dwarf Pussytoes (Antennaria parviflora)

A little further up the path, closing in on the alpine section, we have Prairie Smoke (a personal favorite).

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)

Here's a closer picture of the plant and flower:

Finally, in the alpine section, we have Dwarf Phlox and the tiny little Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine (not to be mistaken for the larger, showier, much more common Colorado Blue Columbine).

Dwarf Phlox (Phlox condensata)

Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine (Aquilegia saximontana)

And with that, you've arrived at the end of the path with the pleasure of turning around and heading back the other direction!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

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