Thursday, January 24, 2013

The not-Sierra Fumewort

This one is just for fun.  It's rarely (almost never) grown in gardens.
But it is appreciable.  So appreciate:

Corydalis caseana ssp. brandegei is a Colorado-specific subspecies of the "Sierra Fumewort." Ours is obvioously not in the Sierras, and no one really calls it that unappealing, if historical, name anyway.  Fumewort?  It does sounds like an odoriferous dermatological event.
Late July, some ten miles from Crested Butte, Colorado, USA.

It's glorious.  It's basically a kind of little Bleeding Heart, but it's massive- four or five feet high.  Asparagus-like posts of stems support waxy-leafed menoras of plant, topped with fleshy spires of the fragrant flowers.  It's a breathtaker.

Corydalis caseana ssp. brandegei, and that is probably Mt. Owen behind her. (Raggeds Wilderness, Gunnison National Forest)

It grows in moist subalpine meadows and truly alpine moraine. (Being one of the biggest plants around at that point) It grows in that charming place that happens when you are walking above treeline on a slope of loose, sharp, stones, and you can hear water burble-whispering underneath of it: a secret creek on a windswept mountainside.

Get out there and see it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Soapberry addendum

A picture that needs inclusion to describe the prior-mentioned Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii.

Sweet and fine specimens, in winter, at Denver Botanic Garden's "Laura Porter Smith Plains Garden."  Note the Christmas-light-orbs of amber.