The Lake of the Sky eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Lake of the Sky.

Flowering in the middle of August, but past flowering at the end of September the Gilia montana is found, with its numerous white and pink leaves.

Nearby is the Phlox dejecta in large quantities, resembling a desert moss, and covering the rocks with its tinted carpet.

An Indian paint-brush with a flower in an oblong cream-colored spike, with purple blotches, was named Castilleia inconspicua, possibly because it is so much less conspicuous and alluring to the eye than its well-known and striking brother of the California fields, C. parviflora.  This species has been of great interest to botanists, as when first observed it was placed in the genus Orthocarpus.  Professor Kennedy thinks it is undoubtedly a connecting link between the two genera.  It has been found only on Mount Rose, where it is common at between 9000 and 10,000 feet elevation.  It reaches, however, to the summit, though it is more sparingly found there.

Professor Kennedy also describes Hulsea Caespitosa, or Alpine dandelion, a densely pubescent plant, emitting a disagreeable odor, whose large yellow flowers surprise one when seen glowing apparently out of the masses of loose volcanic rock.  It is soon found, however, that they have roots deep down in good soil beneath.  Another new species, Chrysothamnus Monocephala, or Alpine rabbit-brush, is a very low, shrubby plant, with insignificant pale yellow flowers.

A beautiful little plant, well adapted to rockeries and suited for cultivation, is Polemonium Montrosense.  Under good conditions it grows excellently.  It was found on the summit of Mt.  Rose, and at lower elevations.

Clusters of the Alpine Monkey-flower (Mimulus Implexus, Greene), are also found on Mt.  Rose, as well as on other Tahoe mountain summits.  The rich yellow flowers bloom profusely, though their bed is often a moraine of wet rocks over which a turbulent cold stream has recently subsided.

Slightly below the summit the little elephant’s-head have been found (Elephantella attolens(Gray) Heller).  Rydberg in his Flora of Montana showed that these were not properly the true pendicularis, as they had hitherto been regarded, hence the new name.  The corolla strikingly resembles the head of an elephant, the beak of the galea forming the trunk, the lateral lobes of the lips the ears, and the stigma the finger-like appendage of the trunk.

In August, growing below the perpetual snow banks at about 10,000 feet elevation that supply an abundance of moisture, one will often find clumps of Rhodiola Integrifolia, which attract the eye with their deep reddish-purple flowers and fruits.  The leaves also have a purple tinge.

Nearby clambering over the granite bowlders the Alpine heath, Cassiope Mertensianae, with its multitude of rose-tinted flower bells, sometimes is found, though not in the profusion it displays in Desolation Valley.

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The Lake of the Sky from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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