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Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains

The distribution of vegetation in the Rocky Mountains correlates directly to elevational changes, which influence the temperature and availability of moisture. Different plant communities characterize each zone (such as foothill, montane, subalpine, and alpine) from the base of a mountain to the top, and each zone may contain several types of plant communities. More than 5,000 plant species occur in the Rocky Mountains. The wildflowers begin to bloom in early spring, as soon as the snow starts to melt. The peak bloom season is mid-summer. This collection highlights some of the most common wildflowers found in the Rocky Mountains.

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scientific namecommon name(s)image gallery
Aquilegia coeruleaColorado blue columbine
Rocky Mountain columbine
Arnica cordifoliaHeart-leaf leopardbane
Heartleaf arnica
Balsamorhiza sagittataArrowleaf balsamroot
Arrow-leaf balsamroot
Cardamine cordifoliaHeartleaf bittercress
Caltha leptosepalaElkslip
White marsh marigold
White marsh-marigold
Calochortus nuttalliiSego lily
Mariposa lily
Castilleja rhexiifoliaSplitleaf Indian paintbrush
Rosy indian-paintbrush
Campanula rotundifoliaBluebell bellflower
Chamerion angustifoliumFireweed
Willow herb
Great willow herb
Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribundaShrubby cinquefoil
scientific namecommon name(s)image gallery

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