Western Mountains and High Plains
Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park
If you have plans to visit Rocky Mountain National Park this summer, Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park (Rocky Mountain Nature Association and Falcon Publishing, Inc., 2000, $24.95) is a great book to take as a companion for plant identification. This version maintains the acclaimed style of Ruth Ashton Nelson's original work with many new species, beautiful photographs, line drawings, and detailed descriptions of the plants.
Favorite or New Plant
Blue Mist Spirea
Blue mist spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis), also called bluebeard or blue mist shrub, is a favorite shrub for late summer color. Flower colors range in shades of blue and purple and are sure to attract pollinators and butterflies. Not only are the flowers showy, but the stems are aromatic. Use in combination with ornamental grasses for a special effect.
Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil with average fertility. In our region this plant is normally treated as a herbaceous perennial that will die back in winter. Cut back the dead growth in spring and new shoots will sprout from the base for another season of growth and bloom.