Polemonium micranthum “Annual Jacob’s-ladder” Polemoniaceae
April 16, 2017
These abundant, weedy Jacob’s Ladders are often found growing among other equally small, white-flowered annuals like Stellaria, Arabidopsis, Capsella, and Cardamine. Unlike many members of those other weedy genera, Polemonium micranthum is a native and not quite as abundant. I certainly would have passed right over it, had I not been on my hands and knees searching for a timid jumping spider. It’s a new species to me!
Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum “Jacob’s Ladder” Polemoniaceae
April 25, 2015
Jacob’s Ladder is an abundant wildflower found on talus slopes or rocky outcrops throughout lower elevations of western Montana. However, in Washington, these plants, while equally common, are restricted to sub-alpine zones and are regularly found above the tree-line.
Phlox gracilis (Microsteris gracilis) “Midget Phlox” Polemoniaceae
April 23, 2015
This diminutive flower is an abundant resident of grassy prairies, roadsides, and open forests throughout the Pacific Northwest. Its weedy nature and minuscule, 2-5mm broad flowers make it easy to overlook, but, upon closer inspection, it is a positively adorable native plant. In some locations, the tiny petals have deep lobes and fuchsia markings. Some hillsides here in Missoula have this pale lavender variety as well as a single-flowered, hot pink form.