Plant ID Walk: Around the Pasture

My husband’s parents raise Scottish Highland cattle on the high plains of Colorado.  Besides the grasses that the cattle eat, there are many interesting “weeds” and other plants growing in the pastures.  In this hot and dry year, as spring officially became summer in June, the pasture grasses had already gotten too sparse for the Highlands to be able to feed themselves, they are now being fed with hay and off the pasture so that it can recover.  Meanwhile, most of the native (and non-native) “weeds” in the pasture, more drought-tolerant than the grasses, are still thriving.

Here is a sampling of some of the plants found in an example pastureland on the high plains of Colorado:

Miner’s candle (Cryptantha virgata):

Miner's candle (Cryptantha virgata)

Woolly/Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus):

Woolly/Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Wood’s rose (Rosa woodsii):

Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii)

Salsify (Tragopogon dubius):

Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)

Narrowleaf yucca (Yucca glauca):

Narrowleaf yucca (Yucca glauca)

Platte/Prairie/Creamy thistle (Circium canescens):

Platte/Prairie/Creamy thistle (Circium canescens)

Blueflax (Linum lewisii):

Blueflax (Linum lewisii)

Butter-and-eggs/Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris):

Butter-and-eggs/Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Lodgepole lupine (Lupinus parviflorus):

Lodgepole lupine (Lupinus parviflorus)

Sarah Spotten currently lives in Colorado. As part of her PDC course she is posting occasionally on topics related to her curriculum.

You can see other posts by Sarah here.

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