Jocie passed this message from Alison M. to the Botany Group on May 31.
In the past two weeks the warm weather and rain have cleared the boardwalks and paths of the treacherous rotting snow from the loops in Paradise Meadows, and there is an amazing array of the early spring flowers to be seen already.
The Caltha leptosepala (alpine white marsh-marigold) starts to open as soon as the snowbanks recede and is still the predominant flower in the meadows. Kalmia microphylla (western bog-laurel) provides the first splashes of pink , with just a few Dodecatheon jeffreyi (Jeffrey’s shootingstar) in among the marsh-marigolds. It won’t be long before the shootingstars take over.
The two yellow violas, as well as the pale blue Viola palustris are out, as is Trollius laxus (globeflower).
Always a challenge to find is the Coptis asplenifolia (fern-leaved goldthread); there is a large patch on the north side of the boardwalk on the path heading to Helen MacKenzie trail junction, just past the gravel section. They are hard to pick out as the delicate strands of the flower blend in amongst the sphagnum and the crowberry, plus the dull browns and yellows of last year’s dead vegetation. The fern-like green leaves of the species name will appear later.