Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Painting a prairie spring portrait

All over Washington, the earth is reawakening. Can you see it?

In a period of only a few weeks, spring has come, a monumental paintbrush caressing the landscape, stirring it back to consciousness. Dabs of bright white, pink and yellow compliment deeper streaks of lavender, red and orange, all placed upon a backdrop of fresh green. Buds change to blooms on wildflowers and the hardier of the tree species sport new-growth fuzz.

As part of the 17,500-acre Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, the 3.5-mile Ebey's Bluff trail provides a vivid representation of western Washington shoreline plants in spring. Located on central Whidbey Island, this trail is one of many that provides an opportunity to see both the natural and agricultural communities come alive this new season.

I have created a photographic guide to some of the spring wildflowers just now blooming on Ebey's Bluff and Ebey's Prairie. I have created this guide based on the plants' family common names, followed by the plant common name and latin name, in order for easier identification to those who enjoy field guide identification. Enjoy this spring on Ebey's Prairie and see how many of these beautiful colors you can find in your own backyards, as well as new spring additions.

ASTER FAMILY – Asteraceae

Common dandelion Taraxacum officinale

FERN FAMILY – Polypodiacea

Bracken fernPteridium aquilinum

LILY FAMILY – Liliaceae

Common camasCamassia quamash

Death camasZygadenus venenosus

PEA FAMILY – Fabaceae

Seashore lupine - Lupinus littoralis

PINE FAMILY – Pinaceae

Douglas fir - Pseudotsuga menziesii ssp. menziesii

PINK FAMILY – Caryophyllaceae

Field chickweed - Cerastium arvense


Brittle prickly pear cactus - Opuntia fragilis


Alaska violet Viola langsdorfii

This post provided by Kelsi Franzen. All photos courtesy by and copyright 2010, Kelsi Franzen. They may not be printed or used without permission.

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