Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Long-leaf phlox doesn't shout

Long-leaf phlox (Phlox longifolia)
(Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

Flowers, as humans, come in a variety of presentation styles.

Some, as the ostentatious arrow-leaf balsamroot now blooming in brilliant yellow clusters visible for a quarter mile in Eastern Washington, shout their presence. No man nor animal is likely to miss seeing them.

But other plants, such as the diminutive long-leaf phlox also blooming now during Eastern Washington's delayed spring, whisper their presence without shouting. Such small plants lend a delicate beauty to the landscape one can find and enjoy only by exploring the sage brush steppe closely and at a leisurely pace.

As in humans, the reward if often greatest when one takes time to cultivate and know the understated.