Montana Outdoors

June 20, 2012

Pinkfairies

Filed under: Montana, Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 9:52 pm

Four summers ago I encountered my first Clarkia high on a steep mountainside beside a little forest road that went nowhere. There at the very end of the road, while I was trying to turn the Jeep around in a space about a foot longer than it was, I saw it; just one blossom. Today a mile up a trail that isn’t there and about three miles from that first sighting I discovered a hillside full of them. This is the year to celebrate the Pinkfairies!

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Clarkia Pinkfairies, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin, Clarkia pulchella, (Evening Primrose family)

Distrubution: USA (CT, ID, MA, MT, OH, OR, SD, VT, WA, WY); CAN (BC)                                                                                                                        

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43 Comments »

  1. What a beautiful flower! Great photos!

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    Comment by A Nature Mom — June 20, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  2. These are just beautiful. I love the deep colour and the symmetry of the petals. We have ragged robin here too but it is paler, and more irregular (well, ragged!) in the shape of its petals.

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — June 21, 2012 @ 1:03 am

    • I like the color too. After you have seen it once it becomes instantly recognizable even at a distance. There must be something unique about the color.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  3. Pretty flower with an appropriate name and your search sounds like an adventure.

    Hiking with your camera is like being on a treasure hunt, isn’t it?

    Like

    Comment by bearyweather — June 21, 2012 @ 3:50 am

    • For me, very much like a treasure hunt! I really don’t go out looking for things to photograph, but I always have the camera hanging from a pack strap. When I go out to explore or just wander and wonder though it seems that there is always photos that I want to bring home.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

  4. Love coming to your blog and seeing flowers that I’ve never seen before.

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    Comment by TheDailyClick — June 21, 2012 @ 3:52 am

    • Thank you! You made my day! I love it when I encounter new ones too. There have been many this year!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  5. How beautiful… And I LOVE the name!! 🙂

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    Comment by FeyGirl — June 21, 2012 @ 5:01 am

    • I like the name too. While it’s not exactly rare, it is rare enough that there seems to be a little magic about it.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  6. Those sepals are incredible! I can imagine how you felt when you found this colony-such a find always stuns me and kind of takes my breath away for a bit. I think finding these would do that to me-they’re beautiful.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — June 21, 2012 @ 6:37 am

    • That’s exactly what it does to me too! The place where this colony is growing is enough off the beaten path that it may be I’m the only one who has seen them, and that’s an interesting thought too. Almost makes me feel responsible for displaying photos of them.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

  7. Very beautiful photos, of flowers never seen before.

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    Comment by bentehaarstad — June 21, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    • Thank you! Although not really rare, it is not a well known flower yet I think a very pretty one.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

  8. I think I remember the name from a past post of yours, at least the Clarkia part. They are very unusual looking,

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    Comment by Candace — June 21, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    • I know I have posted about them before. I always get excited when I see them in bloom and it has seemed to be that each year I have been encountering more of them than before.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  9. Ooohhh! They’re beautiful and my fave color!

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — June 21, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    • That’s a great color, isn’t it! It actually seems to shift color slightly with different light conditions too.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

  10. This is a lovely flower, it’s so delicate. We have a ragged robin here in the UK too, it’s called ‘Lychnis flos-cuculi’ and I don’t know if it’s related to the North American version. Beautiful blooms, both, though

    Like

    Comment by Finn Holding — June 21, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    • It’s always interesting to me to find the same flowers growing in other countries. There is a website here that gives the distribution of a species across the US and Canada, but it doesn’t include other countries. I wish it did!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    • It’s interesting how the British robin AGAIN differs from the American version, first in birds and now in a flower called Ragged Robin. Lychnis BTW does exist in America, but it is very different from Clarkia.

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      Comment by Kim — June 25, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

  11. Love their purple color!

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 21, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  12. These are stunning little flowers. I’ve sent your post around to several friends because these are so unusual here.

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    Comment by snowbirdpress — June 21, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    • 🙂

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      Comment by snowbirdpress — June 21, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      • Thank you! I think they are quite remarkable and as far as I can tell they are relatively unknown.

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        Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  13. This is pretty. I think the name deerhorn is the most fitting, Name by the expedition, I presume?

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    Comment by sandy — June 21, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    • I really don’t know where the name originated, but I would suspect that’s where it came from.

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  14. Ah – I kept thinking the petals looked like oak leaves, but that didn’t seem quite right. The deerhorn name finally triggered it – they look rather like staghorn ferns! So unusual, and so pretty.

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    Comment by shoreacres — June 21, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    • They do have a very unusual shape, and quite pronounced. I wonder exactly what the strategy is there!

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      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  15. Happy pinkfairies to you!

    And speaking of fantasy beings and “a trail that isn’t there,” I’m reminded of these lines written in 1910 by Hugh Mearns:

    As I was walking up the stair
    I met a man who wasn’t there.
    He wasn’t there again today.
    I wish, I wish he’d stay away.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    Like

    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — June 22, 2012 @ 5:00 am

  16. Wow what a great find!!! Beautiful images!!!

    Like

    Comment by dhphotosite — June 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    • I will never forget the place where these grow. It will be like a private little garden because I’m pretty sure no one else will go there to see it. I’ve found them growing in other places, but never in the quantities that there are in this place.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 22, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  17. what an amazing year you are having! love that little poem above

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    Comment by skouba — June 23, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    • Sure is a good year for new flowers! I found another last night. I like that poem too!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  18. Color is incredible; well captured.

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    Comment by Sartenada — June 25, 2012 @ 3:05 am

  19. I think Clarkia is another plant you have to catch in bloom just before the deer devour them!

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    Comment by Kim — June 25, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    • I’m still angry because I found out that deer like azaleas too late for ours.

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      Comment by montucky — June 25, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  20. Forgot to mention that this is the first time I’ve seen them called “Pinkfairies”

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    Comment by Kim — June 26, 2012 @ 7:40 am


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