After last spring’s disappointing wildflower season, this year we have a magnificent display of wildflowers, thanks to a wet fall and winter. A great place for a quick walk with plenty of flowers is Posse Grounds Park Loop Trail.
You don’t have to go far or out of your way to see the bold, bountiful, and beautiful evening primrose in bloom. They’re on the roadside, in vacant lots, and on the trail. The flowers open in the late afternoon and stay open through the early morning, so time your trip so that you can take full advantage of the brilliant display of these white flowers—as you drive from Sedona to Cottonwood you’ll see clumps of them everywhere!
The early bloomers are still blooming. There are fields of owl clover and cream cups that are just about at their peak; Indian paintbrush, Perky sue and verbena are plentiful. Four o’clock flowers will later come into full bloom with their spectacular purple blossoms on bushy plants.
If you’re curious about the flowers you see and want to learn more, visit a wonderful website to help identify them. The Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants database was created by Master Gardener volunteers and contains photos and descriptions of native plants found in Yavapai County. It is available at cals.arizona.edu/yavapaiplants/index.php, and the link is also on the Library’s website at www.sedonalibrary.org/tools--databases.html . Because this database is designed for amateur botanists rather than plant taxonomists, it’s easy to use. One great feature is the inclusion of drawings of plant characteristics in the search screen, so you don’t have to know technical terms in order to search for a plant. Other plant identification websites you might want to visit are: plants.usda.gov and www.naturesongs.com/vvplants, which features common plants of the Verde Valley and Sedona .
An indoor display of live wildflowers, labeled to help you identify currently blooming species, is up in the Library at least through Saturday, April 20, and maybe longer if the weather cooperates. This year’s display is brought to us by Lucie Burris, Linda Schermer, and Kathy Wege. They are following in a long tradition of volunteers who have gathered plants for this educational display (by special permission), including most recently, Marlene and Jack Conklin. We’re pleased to see that the butterfly bush planted in memory of Phyllis Lindberg, a longtime contributor to the wildflower display, is thriving in its location in front of the Library.
The wildflower identification books that Phyllis created are available in the Library, and there are copies of the books at the Red Rock State Park Visitor Center. Their photographs are a good way to learn about local plants. There are many other books that you can check out to help you on your quest to learn about Arizona wildflowers.
The Library’s Culture Pass program is also a great way to learn about the plant life in Arizona. By checking out a Culture Pass, you receive free admission for two people at participating arts and cultural institutions, including the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and the Arboretum in Flagstaff (FYI: the Arboretum is closed on Tuesdays).
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The land on which our beautiful library sits was donated, and the library building was constructed with private funds and is entirely debt-free. Donations and grants allow us to continue to offer free and innovative services to residents and visitors. Your tax-deductible donation may be made online or sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Sedona Public Library
Column for April 19, 2019
Written by: Virginia Volkman, Library Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.