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Chionophila jamesii
Chionophila jamesii (Snowlover)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 3, 2004.

A walking pace is just too fast if we really want to see the world.  Snowlover is one of those tiny alpine plants (the one pictured is just two inches high) that evades you unless you search at the slowest pace.  And then, as happened to us, you may find many Snowlover plants, for the plants grow near each other by the dozen or more.

The plant has many tinges of purple contrasting with the bright white flowers. Leaves are thick, nearly vertical, and almost as high as the flower.

George Bentham (1800-1884) named this genus and species in 1846.  "Chionophila" is Greek for "snow lover".  Edwin James was a naturalist with the Long Expedition of 1819-1820.  (More biographical information about James.)

 

Chionophila jamesii
Chionophila jamesii (Snowlover)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, July 3, 2004.

Chionophila jamesii

Chionophila jamesii

Chionophila jamesii (Snowlover)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Cinnamon Pass, August 1, 2007 and Sharkstooth Trail, June 27, 2013.

Uniquely for Snapdragons, Snowlover flowers are flattened. They are also in an unusual one-sided (secund)cluster.

Tearing open a flower reveals another view of symmetry and beauty.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Chionophila jamesii