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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 brodiaea or wild hyacinth has a cluster of pale to dark blue, tubular flowers with six wavy lobes or “petals” atop a single spindly stem. These stems can grow twelve to eighteen inches tall from a bulb, with one or two grass-like leaves nearly as long as the stem.
Tall tumblemustard is a plant with many branches growing from a single stem and a stout taproot. It is initially a low-growing rosette of basal leaves, but later becomes tall and lanky in appearance, growing up to five feet in height. The round stems are light green and mostly smooth, except for widely scattered white hairs.
Widespread throughout the Sage Hills, long-leaf phlox presents a brilliant display of condensed pink or white flowers. The predominant flower color is pink but may vary to blue, lilac-purple, or white. The flower is distinctively five-lobed.
The microseris resembles a dandelion, with a leafless stem supporting a single head of bright-yellow ray flowers. The plant can reach of height of two to twelve inches. The basal cluster of leaves, narrow and strap-like with wavy edges, are sparsely to densely covered with hairs.
During late spring in the Sage Hills, the wide open sunny slopes are colored with a blue-to-purple hue. The flowers are lupines, a common shrub-steppe wildflower. Lupine can be recognized by its tall, spike-like cluster of blossoms. The flower itself has two lips that look, from the side view, like a parrot’s beak.
Barestem biscuitroot has a long slender main stem (up to three feet tall) that ascends up to a hub where smaller stems branch out like the spokes of an umbrella. At the end of each spoke is a dense ball-shaped cluster of small yellow flowers.
Puccoon is common in the shrub-steppe, and is easily identified by a cluster of multiple long, leafy stems, eight inches to two feet tall, springing up from a woody tap root. The small, pale yellow-to greenish-white flowers of puccoon appear in late spring, partially hidden among the numerous leaves near the stem tip.
Ballhead waterleaf is somewhat inconspicuous because it usually grows amid thickets or beneath associated shrubs, such as sagebrush, and its dark, blue-purple to lavender, flowers blend in with the shady background. It is unusual because the flowers form a densely congested ball-shaped cluster near the base of the plant instead of at the top.
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.
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37 Years of Conservation Success