Little plants series – the chameleon
It seems that my subscription form doesn’t always works, so I am testing with a little plant; actually from a category that should be better called ‘flat to the ground’ (or prostrate plants, botanically speaking ;) Eriogonum umbellatum (sulfur buckwheat), is well-known to the rock garden aficionados and mountain enthusiasts, and it has quite a few, hard to ID varieties.
E. umbellatum var. porteri (Porter’s sulphur flower) is the smallest of them all – a real golden nugget I acquired from Wrightman Alpines. In the wild it grows on rocky slopes and ridges at high-elevations in a few locations in Colorado, Nevada and Utah.
Flat to the ground, or better said container, it is an all season interest plant: evergreen foliage with small leaves in tight rosettes, yellow bright flowers which turn red when fading (like in the featured image); the foliage will also acquire red and orange tones. Needless to say – pollinator friendly and a reliable, good companion for other little plants.
To make my point, two more images:
E. umbellatum var. aureum in full bloom in Wasatch Mts. (Utah), which is very similar with var. porteri; the later replacing var. aureum at higher elevations.
And an incredible old exemplar of E. umbellatum var. porteri which has turned red after pollination – growing at the Montreal Botanical Garden (which is renown, by the way, for its Alpine Garden).
Sort of a chameleonic plant I would say…