Colorado Flowers



Left:     Fairy Slipper and May snow. First place winner in Continental Divide Land Trust photo contest, Oct. 2014.
Right:   Orange Wallflower. Near Mt. Goliath Natural Area, Mt. Evans Road. An unusual and striking color.

The flowers in the Colorado mountains are spectacular. At the links below is a large selection, with some of my favorites shown below on this page. I am grateful to Jane Hendrix, Patricia Taylor, and Marty Richardson for their help in identification. Jane Hendrix's web page has a quite complete collection of photos of flowers in Summit County. Another good resource is Wildflowers West.

White Flowers        Yellow Flowers         Red Flowers       Purple Flowers        Blue Flowers        Brown Flowers        Bristlecone Pines
Mushrooms (Boletus rubriceps, Amanita muscaria, Pholiota squarrosa, Gyromitra esculenta, Cantharellus cibarius, Microstoma protractum, and some others)

Some of these appear to me to be rare or at least unusual in the Colorado mountains, as they are seldom seen. In such a list I would place the following, in order of rarity as far as my observations go. Some are truly rare (e.g., Kluane poppies, white elephant heads, white monkshood, white and orange wallflowers, white sky pilot, whiplash saxifrage), others are rare only for me.

Globe gilia, considered rare, exists in Colorado only on high ridges near Hoosier and Boreas Passes.
White elephant heads (seen only once, near Loveland Pass)
White violets, with white spur or blue spur (seen once near Hoosier Pass)
White forget-me-nots (seen on Mt. Evans, also at Loveland Pass Lakes)
White sky pilots (seen once only, on the ridge SE of Black Powder Pass)
White larkspur (seen on Meadow Ck Trail, though reported elsewhere)
White checkermallow (seen once only, in Darling Ck., but a sighting in Miners Creek is reported)
Wallflower, orange color variation (seen on Mt. Evans)
Wallflower, purple color variation (seen on Casco Peak, Mt. Evans, Mt. Yale)
Wallflower, white color variation (seen once on Casco Peak)
Wallflower, orange-pink color variation (seen once on Casco Peak)
Whiplash saxifrage (yellow, Loveland Pass, west side, high near the first bump, not far from road; north side of Independence Pass, 800 ft up; has been called rare; seen also SE of Black Powder Pass and Hoosier Ridge east)
Kluane poppy (yellow; seen only twice: Hoosier Ridge and near North Mount Massive; also on ridge SE of Black Powder Pass)
Spotted coralroot (white orchid, no chlorophyll, lives off mycelium of Russula mushrooms)
Scree penstemon (purple; seen in quantity below Argentine Pass, east side, on the old trail; also seen W of high reservoir S of Quandary)
Purple avens (seen only once)
Alpine dusty maiden (white; seen only once, Loveland Pass area; they are also on Hoosier Pass West)
Clustered lady slippers (brown; seen only twice)
White fairy slippers
White lupine


Kluane poppies


Globe gilia


Glacier lilies, by Michael Rogers


Western wallflower, purple color variation.


Western wallflower, rare pink color variation.



Western wallflower, rare orange color variation (Mt Evans)


Calypso, rare white variation


Prairie smoke


Whiplash saxifrage


White sky pilot


White elephant heads.

Mushroom hunting in Colorado is a great sport. I include here my favorite fungal portraits. In 2010-2011 I curated an exhibit of mushroom paintings by the Russian artist Alexander (Sasha) Viazmensky at Macalester College. Check out his beautiful work at

Mushrooms (Boletus rubriceps, Amanita muscaria, Pholiota squarrosa, Gyromitra esculenta, Cantharellus cibarius, Microstoma protractum, others)


Created with the Wolfram Language