The barrens with the densest stands of Leavenworthia form a chain along the upper slope of a long east-west running ridge.
I found the
Leavenworthia to be rather abundant, but of such a small size that they were
extremely difficult to see.
Growing conditions over the next
month will determine the flowering success of this plant.
Over a period of about ten years I gradually
thinned away the cedars to provide more light for the Leavenworthia. The Leavenworthia have responded favorably to
my clearing efforts.
The soil is
good enough to support several species of prairie type grasses and clearings
that provide near continuous sunlight through the summer become carpeted with
Leavenworthia does not grow in the grassy areas. I don’t want to make the mistake of clearing
so much that conditions worsen for Leavenworthia survival. I’m happy with the way things are now.
Plants in this condition rarely produce more
than a single flower.
Here is a Western Sunflower,
Helianthus occidentalis, emerging from a partially exposed stolon. These perennial sunflowers begin their growth
in late winter.
Most of the growth
remains as a basal cluster, but a tall flowering stalk will emerge in mid
The previous year flower
stalk can be seen standing in the center of this year’s growth.
Several species of asters with
intergrading characteristics grow in the Leavenworthia barrens. I usually tackle their identification on days
when I crave a frustrating activity.
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