Sweet Four O'Clock

Sweet Four O’Clock

Arizona has some 4,000 wildflowers.  This year’s monsoon rains resulted in a flourish of wildflowers surrounding our Prescott home.  One of the prettiest wildflowers is the sweet four o’clock which stands at just over three feet high with blooms that stand straight up until late afternoon when a white blossom opens to reveal six long stamens and red anthers.  Another of my favorites is the sky blue birdbill dayflower whose three petals and six yellow stamens sits just over a foot off the ground.  Earlier, Colorado four o’clocks graced our front yard. Now displaying themselves are the smaller narrowleaf four’o’clocks with a trumpet shape and five reddish purple lobes.  Small matweed has formed dense, spreading mats of tiny white flowers close to the ground.  Shorthair goldenrod stands three to four feet tall in the side yard.  The deep purple flowers of ivyleaf morning-glory are in a bed near the road.  The white flowers of spreading fleabane and the yellow flowers of curlycap gumweed have joined the long flowering bright yellow butter and eggs and red beardlip penstemon, favored by our hummingbirds, to create a colorful ground cover in our woodland setting.  In addition to the shade from distinctive tall ponderosa pines we have a few pinyon pines and alligator junipers surrounding the house.  Prickly pear cacti bloomed earlier and now show red fruit.  Claret cup cacti are present but haven’t been seen in bloom.  Next assignment: identify the various grasses around the house.  Arizona wildflowers provide a distinctive natural landscape.

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