Meadow death camas has a single stem, eight to twenty inches tall, with long four to twelve inch grass-like leaves at its base. At first the flowers form a rather dense pyramidal cluster. Later the cluster becomes more elongate and the individual flowers more widely spaced. The flowers can be white, cream-colored, or pale yellow.
The name “white-leaf” refers to the silky-white hairiness of the leaves of this phacelia. Dense short hairs lend the plants an overall grayish-green color. The plant grows up to twenty inches tall. Roughly the upper half of the plant consists of branched flowering coiled clusters.
Geyer’s biscuitroot is often the first flower seen in the spring, blooming as early as February. It is easily identified by the tiny white flowers growing in umbrella-like clusters called umbels. Stems can be green or red, and its leaves attach to the stem at or below the ground surface.
Among the first plants to flower in the spring, prairie star is commonly found in the open, grassy areas of the shrub-steppe. The lobed white or pink petals cluster in ‘stars’ atop leafless two to ten inch stems. Leaves grow mostly at the base, about half to one inch long, with five wedge-shaped segments with three rounded teeth.
Sagebrush stickseed flowers are white and showy but tiny, less than half an inch wide, and the simple petals look just like a child would draw a basic flower. The leaves are coarse, hairy, and rather short, two to seven inches long, with a cluster at the base and smaller leaves going up the stems.
Snow buckwheat is conspicuous because it flowers in late summer when other plants in its rocky habitat are dormant. Sometimes it grows so abundantly that the landscape appears dusted with snow. Snow buckwheat grows in clumps up to sixteen inches tall and wide. The crown gives rise to numerous short woody stems.
Buckwheats have branched stems one to three feet tall, and large, three to six inch, densely hairy, leathery basal leaves. The flowers, individually very small, form dense single or multiple umbrella-like clusters, called umbels, at the end of the upright, nearly leafless stems. Each small flower has three sepals and three petals.
Thread-leaf fleabane daisy has daisy-like flowers with white, pink or purple petals, and a large yellow center. Growing four to twenty inches tall, the stems are hairy and branch extensively, forming large symmetrical clumps. Individual stems may support one to several flower heads.
Field bindweed is a climbing or creeping vine that dies back each year. Its name derives from the way it binds or coils around other plants. The stems grow one to six feet long. The one- to two-inch-long leaves are spirally arranged and arrowhead-shaped.
Bastard toadflax grows in clumps up to a foot tall, and has smooth alternating leaves from a quarter to an inch and a half long. The tiny flower starts as a tight little ball which opens up into a star formed by the five sepals. There are no petals. Blossoms remain open night and day for two days.