Old-Man-of-the-Mountain (Tetraneuris grandiflora)
|Old-Man-of-the-Mountain (Tetraneuris grandiflora)|
Lavender Fleabane (Erigeron sp.)
|Lavender Fleabane (Erigeron sp.)|
Stemless Goldenweed (Stenotus acaulis)
|Stemless goldenweed (Stenotus acaulis)|
A brilliant yellow and smaller member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae), stemless goldenweed (Stenotus acaulis) bursts with golden color revealing the beginning of spring between April and May. Caleb A. Morse has determined that within the Flora of North America there is a mere four species; which spread across western North America and northwest Mexico. The sunflower family, Asteraceae, derives its root from the Greek Titan goddess, Asteria, (goddess of falling stars). According to one Greek myth; when she looked down upon the earth, and saw no stars, she began to weep. Where a tear fell upon the earth, a star was born, hence the name ‘starwort’. This became a common term for members of the Asteraceae family. The term ‘wort’ translates to ‘plant’ in Old English, so the largest plant family in the world is interestingly a collection of ‘starplants’.
Dwarf Mountain Fleabane or Cutleaf Daisy (Erigeron compositus var. discoidea)
|Cutleaf Daisy (Erigeron compositus var. discoidea)|
Alpine fleabane or mountain fleabane is an early bloomer in the sunflower family with large bright white flowering heads sitting singularly on a stem, and there are many stems, painting the landscape with bright white mounds in what often is a stark rocky habitat. It is a short compact plant and often thought of as an alpine or arctic plant. However, it’s interesting that its common name is associated with lands that have a large range in elevation; actually having lowlands and highlands, but here in Wyoming we all know we live in a high place and you will find it distributed across the state. Be somewhat careful if you handle this small unassuming plant, it is known to cause a bit of dermatitis.
Written by Charmaine Delmatier, Rocky Mountain Herbarium