Saturday, August 20, 2011

Silverleaf Psoralea: Deep Blue on Prairie Silver

Silverleaf psoralea in a tepee ring on a prairie butte © SB 
With brilliant (though tiny) deep blue flowers on silver leaves, Silverleaf psoralea instantly became my  favourite prairie wildflower on our July visit to Grasslands National Park. It also was a mystery, as the two prairie flower books I brought with me did not include it. (I've since upgraded my reference collection.)

The name was familiar, as a park guide had mentioned in during our visit in June — but it hadn't been in flower then. I wondered, how could this lovely, ever-present grasslands flower be missed? But authors of guides have to make selections, and Silverleaf psoralea must not be as common in the rest of Saskatchewan as it is in the southwestern dry prairie uplands, and so it was dropped. (Next time I visit the Grasslands, I'm taking Vance/Jowsey's Wildflowers Across the Prairies.)

The top picture shows this low shrub growing on a prairie butte within a tepee ring, its silvery leaves mounding above the grasses. A close-up, below, shows its pea-flowered shape. (This plant is called Silvery or Silver-Leaf Scurf Pea in the US.)  

Close-up of Silverleaf psoralea  © SB 
Silverleaf psoralea  © SB 

Prairie Wildflower: Silverleaf psoralea (silvery scurf pea)
Location: In Grasslands National Park, and on pasture/butte west of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Canada
Photo Dates: July 27 & 28, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...