Yellow flowers are bright and joyful; they have come to represent joy, happiness, and friendship.  They symbolize a return of spring and new beginnings.  They are hard to miss, since their bright yellow color bursts through the landscape.  Orange flowers are likewise easy to spot, and symbolize excitement and vigor.  I associate orange as a fall color, as many people do due to pumpkins, Halloween, and the turning of the leaves.  But they are a true spring flower and are bright happy flowers.

2013-06-22 16.30.19

Alpine Avens: Acomastylis turbinata
Twin Sisters Hike
Late June, Alpine

This is a very pretty flower with leaves that resemble ferns and give large rounded yellow petals. Like many of the alpine flowers these guys are petite and only grow to maybe 10 inches at most. This fellow was about 4 inches tall and the flowers were a little less than an inch wide. They have very noticible stamens in a chaotic arrangement in the center.

Potentilla fissa

Leafy (Bigflower) Cinquefoil: Potentilla fissa
Ouzel Lake Hike
Late June, Montane to Subalpine

This flower was tough to identify. We saw it on our hike to Ouzel lake and our friend Julia asked me what it was. I really wasn’t sure but told her I’d find out. The cinquefoils are a hugely diverse group of flowers that can be hard to tell apart. The leafy cinquefoil belongs in the rose family which can be understood by looking at the buds of the flowers in the image. It is a very bright yellow flower and very pretty. It could be easily confused with some of the buttercups.

Shrubby CinquefoilShrubby Cinquefoil Close

Shrubby Cinquefoil: Pentaphylloides floribunda
James Peak Hike
Subalpine, July

We found this shrubby cinquefoil just east of St. Mary’s Lake. The cinquefoil is in the rose family and they produce beautiful yellow flowers. These cinquefoils grow into small bushes and produce many flowers throughout the summer.


Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana
James Peak Hike
Subalpine, July

The woolly groundsel is a member of the Aster family and has blueish lance shaped leaves in rosettes. The petals are a bright yellow with orange stamens. This specimen was found near the shrubby cinquefoil in the picture above, just east of St. Mary’s Lake. These flowers are large and very pretty.

Yellow Stonecrop

Yellow Stonecrop: Amerosedum lanceolatum or Sedum lanceolatum
Fall River Pass Mountain
Alpine, August

This low lying alpine flower with succulent leaves produces pretty yellow flowers. This guy was on a short 0.3 mile hike up to the unofficially named Fall River Pass Mountain peak right across from the Alpine Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. They were prevalent along the trail and in full bloom.

Butterfly on an Alpine Sunflower

Alpine Sunflower: Rydbergia grandiflora
Bierstadt-Sawtooth-Evans Hike
Subalpine to Alpine, June/July

We found this large yellow Alpine Sunflower in the gully of the Bierstadt-Sawtooth-Evans hike, but we’ve seen this flower all around Colorado in alpine and subalpine environments. They are very large flowers for the alpine (but not as large as a true sunflower) and attract numerous butterflies, as can be seen here.


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