Glowing Golden Chrysothamnus

I know I’ve said it before, but when the Rabbitbrush is in full bloom, its rich golden color seems to glow.  Maybe it’s the way the depth of the flowers in those terminal cymes let the light bounce around and intensify. Click on the photo for a closer view. Advertisements

Native Flowering Shrub for Western Landscapes

Fellow western blogger Big Sky Ken, made a stop at Ayers Natural Bridge and posted  his photos. The post reminded me of my stop there in July when the Holodiscus dumosus was in full bloom. Ocean Spray is a native Wyoming shrub that deserves much more attention and development for the landscaping market. It is…

Winter Watering in Wyoming and the High Plains

Last week we  had three days in a row above 40 degrees F. With no snow cover, this was a perfect time to water shrubs, trees and perennials in the yard. The forecast for Central Wyoming for the first week of 2012 looks good for another opportunity for winter watering. In the high plains, winter…

Wasn’t Poison Sumac After All

“It turns out the “poison sumac” (Rhus vernix) of my childhood, which I so diligently avoided, wasn’t poison sumac after all, although R. vernix does grow in Indiana.” This is from my reply to a comment from Steve at Portraits of Wildflowers. Steve reports Rhus trilobata grows in Texas, but Rhus lanceolata is more reliable…

Rabbitbrush Native Shrub

Chrysothamnus, or Rabbit brush, is a common native shrub of Wyoming and much of the arid western US. Some of the species that I learned as Chrysothamnus are now in the genus Ericameria. The major difference being Ericameria is covered with tomentum, or a felt like covering of tangled hairs. Wyoming has four species of…

Wyoming Fall Colors Include Rhus

The fall colors of Wyoming are subtle, not like the brilliantly brushed hardwood forests of the eastern US.  The shades of autumn in the Rockies are more muted with the dark olive evergreens,  purple-grey slates, and reddish sandstones providing the back drop for pockets of glowing aspen and roadside ribbons of burning rabbitbrush. The fall…

Wyoming Butterfly

As I drove past the Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), a common native plant of the western United States, I saw it was covered with these medium sized orange-brown butterflies. First we had to remember how to tell a butterfly from a moth. The overlapping wings and bulb ended antennae are indicative of butterflies, along with the…

Mountain Mahogany – Native Shrub of Wyoming

Native Shrub for Drought Tolerant Landscaping There are two common Mountain Mahogany species in Wyoming;  Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) and True Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus).  Both would make nice ornamental shrubs or small  trees in low water use landscapes.  The seeds of C. montanus, shown here, are expertly designed for catching on passers by,…

Watering the Landscape in Winter

It’s been getting up into the low 50’s around Casper for the last three days.  I drug the hoses out and watered my flowerbeds, paying special attention to soaking the ground around the shrubs I planted last fall. It may seem strange to be watering this time of year in the northern parts of the…

An Uncommonly Warm Autumn

We finally registered a hard frost in the town of Casper, Wyoming.  Now, the folks out on the prairie got their killing frost way back in September- much more the norm for central Wyoming. Our average first frost date is somewhere around the end of August to the first week in September, so you can…

Trying Out Shrubs

My plan is to concentrate on getting some flower beds in this year, along with some foundational plants. As I mentioned, we have plenty of trees, but I thought some shrubs would be a good place to start for this first year. I stumbled upon some good choices at the local Menards. I felt like…