Synthyris alpina

(Alpine Kittentails)


Synthyris alpina, Crystal Lakes, Summit Co. 1158

Scientific Name Synthyris alpina (Besseya alpina, Veronica besseya) USDA PLANTS Symbol BEAL
Common Name Alpine Kittentails ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 522283
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SW Colorado
Wildflowers Ref.
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (9500 to 14200 ft); rocky ridges, tundra, scree and talus slopes.
Plant: Perennial with stout, erect stem up to 6 inches tall.
Leaves: Mostly basal 2 inches long, oblong-to-heart-shaped, thick and woolly.
Inflorescence: Very small purple/reddish flowers in a terminal spike. Early season bloomer.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: SW Colorado Wildflowers, "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel and "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield.
Note: Photo below was taken in early July above 12,000 ft. I had mis-identified the photo and was thankfully corrected by Jane Hendrix of Breckenridge. Click here for a photo of a plant in bloom.
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© Tom Lebsack 2024

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County