Rocky Mountain Wildflowers

CMC Press, 2012

Marlene Borneman and James Ells, PhD

Foerword by Susan J. Tweit

This guidebook is the perfect companion for wildflower enthusiasts….

From my Foreword, “Seeing Wildflowers”:

“Nobody sees a flower–really–it is so small–we haven’t time–and to see takes time…” –Georgia O’Keeffe

It’s pretty hard to miss Rocky Mountain wildflowers. Hundreds of species color the continent’s highest and longest mountain chain from lower elevations where crocus-like sand lilies blooming starry abundance to mountain meadows perfumed by lilac-blue Rocky Mountain iris, and wind-blasted alpine tundra dotted with pink moss campion and other ground-hugging “belly flowers.”

But to really see wildflowers in the sense painter Georgia O’Keeffe meant requires more than just an “Oh wow!” glance. Identifying the eye-catching blooms opens a door to an entire community of lives and relationships. Wildflowers are so much more than pretty scenery; their relationships and behavior weave the fabric of these majestic landscapes. 

The flowers and their astonishing variety of forms–from straight-forward saucers and disks to bells, urns, funnels, tubes, stars, and even bulbous hoods and slippers–are designed for a very basic purpose. They are the siren songs of flowering pants, existing simply to facilitate sex and reproduction. …