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Ferns, and Trees
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Welcome. I hope this web site shows you the beauty of Four Corners flora and helps you understand how to identify these plants.
Photographs and descriptions of 1000 species of wildflowers, ferns, and trees found within a 150 mile radius of the Four Corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah appear in this educational/reference web site. Each plant appears in a number of photographs showing the entire plant and distinctive parts of the plant such as the flower, leaf, and hairs. Photographs are accompanied by details about the plant's blooming time and place, unusual plant characteristics, interesting growth habits, when and where the plant was first found for science, the meaning of the plant's scientific name, etc.
Click your way into these plants and you will find photos and descriptions of Cactus in deserts and Spruce in 14,000 foot mountains, flowering shrubs in canyons and short-lived flowers in dry washes, plants hanging on sandstone rock faces, and dwarf wildflowers in alpine meadows. This diversity thrives in the approximately 9,000 square miles encompassed by this web site. The area includes Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Arches, and Canyon De Chelly National Parks; Escalante/Grand Staircase, Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Canyons of the Ancients, El Malpais, and El Moro National Monuments; the San Juan, Chuska, Abajo, and La Sal Mountains; and many other wild areas of and near the Colorado Plateau, those lands drained by the middle section of the Colorado River.
Many of the plants found in the Four Corners area are also found in nearby states, even in distant states, and even in other countries -- we live on a green and blue sphere where everything is related to everything else.
I hope your visit to this web site is profitable and enjoyable and gives you some idea of the wild beauty of the Four Corners.
I further hope this web site promotes an appreciation for plant diversity and beauty and contributes to the protection of plant habitat and to the protection of the creatures that thrive on these plants. If we each become involved in planning efforts of the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management and if we each work locally for the protection of open spaces and the control of urban and rural sprawl, we can protect plants and their habitat. Joining national organizations such as the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the Audubon Society; local organizations such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the San Juan Citizen Alliance; and other national and local environmental groups is a further way to ensure that the plants remain.
Taking walks in the wild is the best way to ensure that we remember the value of wild beauty and what we are here for.
Join the Native Plant Society in your state: enjoy, learn about, and help to preserve the native plants of your area. See the Links page for Native Plant Societies in the Four Corners area.
When you are on
public land please remember:
If you wish to
own wild plants,
Please remember that photographs, written material, design, and all other aspects of this web site are © Al Schneider. No aspect of this web site may be used for any purpose -- personal, not-for-profit, governmental, or commercial -- without the permission of Al Schneider.
1) You can search or browse photos by color or plant type, or search or browse by name, or search this entire web site.
Searching or browsing by color or plant type: To do this, click on the colored icon on the opening page of this web site or on the words at the top of each page of this web site.
Searching the entire web site: You can use the search engine to find a plant by name; to find all members of a family; to find plants blooming in a specific month, season, habitat, or vegetation zone; to find plants on a particular trail; etc.
2) If you are searching for a particular flower by color, be sure to look in several color sections. Flower colors vary; some blue flowers can be purple, pink, or white; some red flowers can be yellow or orange; etc. Remember too that because of variations in growing factors the species could look dramatically different in the field.
3) Handy points to remember when searching and browsing this web site:
A) If you do not find a plant in this web site under the name you normally use for it, type that name in the "Search" box to see if the name has been changed.
B) To move to the top of a page,
C) Most links open in new tabs or new pages.
D) If you use two or more words when using the search box, be sure to enclose the words in quotation marks ("Lake Hope Trail"). Otherwise you will retrieve every entry for each word.
I want you to derive maximum enjoyment from the descriptive information and photographs on my web site, but recent versions of browsers such as Windows use very high resolution screen settings resulting in very small print and very small photographs on your screen. You can leave the resolution at its manufacturer's recommended high setting for sharpness and clarity and still increase the font and photograph size by clicking on the magnifier in the bottom right of your screen (for Internet Explorer) or in the tools and options in some other browsers.
If you do not see the magnifier in the bottom right of Internet Explorer, it may not be available for your version of Windows, OR right click on a tool bar at the top of your screen, click on "Status Bar", and the magnifier will appear at bottom right.
You can magnify each web site you visit and your computer will remember each setting.
You also can temporarily increase web page size by placing your cursor on the screen, holding down the ctrl key, and scrolling with your mouse scroll wheel.
You will find the text and photographs in my web site much easier to view if you significantly magnify the display of your computer monitor.
This web site provides photographs and descriptions of about 1000 wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, and trees of the area within a 150 mile radius of the Four Corners.
1) There are two major sets of photographs: thumbnails and full-sized.
Thirty-six thumbnail pages each contain numerous close-up photographs of the flower, leaf, or some other key identifying characteristic of each plant. These thumbnails are grouped by color and then alphabetized by family, genus, and species.
Clicking on a thumbnail photograph will take you to a page with a number of full-sized photographs of the plant shown in the thumbnail.
Descriptive text accompanies each page of full-sized photographs.
2) This is an educational/reference web site and the intent of the photographs and descriptions is to assist you in identifying and enjoying plants of the Four Corners area.
3) Plant names in bold are those listed in the Synthesis of the North American Flora, a product of 40 years of labor by national plant authority John Kartesz. These names are almost always in accord with those used by the Flora of North America and are usually in accord with the USDA Plants Database and local plant authorities William Weber (Colorado Flora) and Stanley Welsh (A Utah Flora). Synonyms in use by Weber, Welsh, and other botanists are listed but they are not bold. As noted above, if you do not find a plant in this web site under the name you normally use for it, type that name in the "Search" box to see if the name has been changed.
4) Many factors affect plant growth and, therefore, the plant you find in the field could vary in appearance from the ones shown on this web site. The plant you encounter could be taller or shorter, and it could have more or fewer flowers, be a different shade or color, be solitary or in groups, etc.
5) New photographs and text are added often.
In the first three lines of each plantís description
you will find basic information about the plant:
Each of these is discussed below.
AUTHORS and ORIGIN OF THIS WEB SITE
Hello. I am Al Schneider, the creator of this web site. My wife, Betty, and I live in Southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park with our pup and constant companion, Willi Coyote, and our feline friends, Sevillana and Mr. Outdoors. Before retiring, I was an English Professor, Ozark Trail designer with Missouri State Parks, backcountry guide in my own business, and computer-based educator with the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.
Betty was a Special Education teacher and paramedic firefighter. Betty continues to teach CPR and First Aid classes and she loves hiking and snow shoeing. In wildflower season she turns on her superb eye and spots hard to find flowers. Year-round Betty is a passionate and expert chef and beader. Click to see her beadwork on this web site.
Through the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society, Betty and I lead many wildflower walks that are free and open to everyone. Click to see the schedule. Feel free to email me for information. Phone: 970-882-4647.
This web site grew out of a volunteer project that Betty and I undertook in 2000 to produce two volumes of wildflower, fern, and tree photographs and descriptions for the San Juan National Forest Visitor Information Services in Southwest Colorado. The volumes are available for visitors to view in the Dolores and Durango Offices of the San Juan National Forest.
In February of 2001 I published this web site so the beauty of the Four Corners region could be enjoyed by an even wider audience.
During the summers of 2004 and 2005 I replaced about 1,000 film photos with digital photos taken with my excellent digital Olympus C-750 camera. During each of these summers, I also added about 1,000 new photographs, including several hundred new species. In each of the following years I added new species and several hundred new photographs of plants already on the web site. Each year new photographs are shown in the Recent Additions section of this web site. In April of 2010 I began photographing with the excellent Panasonic FZ35 camera.
I designed the original "Four Corners Wildflower" web site with Microsoft's Front Page web-making software which made many aspects of web design easy and fluid, but which also had a number of serious flaws. In September of 2008 I switched from Front Page to Dreamweaver 8, a much more versatile web page designing software.
This web site presently has 875 pages, over 250,000 words, 4,000 photographs of 1000 species, and 15,000 links (internal and external). The web site is nearing one gigabyte.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are by Al with Betty's assistance -- that's her (just out of view) holding the ruler in many photographs. Text, web site design, and web maintenance are by Al.
A big THANKS to
Ed and Michele Fink of
The Red Pepper, petroglyphs, and Southwestern strip design are from RT Graphics.
Weber and Wittmann's Colorado Flora, Western Slope, Susan Komarek's Flora of the San Juans, Arthur Cronquist's Intermountain Flora , and Stanley Welsh's A Utah Flora provide the botanical cornerstones of this web site.
William Weber is THE plant authority for Colorado flora. I thank him for his incredible dedication of 70+ years.
The first name given for all plants comes from John Kartesz's Synthesis of the North American Flora, a labor of love for the past 40 years. Kartesz is the ultimate authority for plant names on this web site and his names are always in bold.
Click to read about John Kartesz's Synthesis of the North American Flora, which will soon be available on a DVD. The DVD will include amazing details on every plant in the United States and Canada. It will have maps showing county by county occurrences of every plant, keys to plants, 150,000 photographs, etc. I thank John for sharing early versions of his Synthesis with me and for sharing many hours of botanical conversations via telephone between South Carolina and Colorado.
My thanks to friend John Bregar, with whom I share many hours of botanical explorations in the mountains and canyons and with whom I also share frustration, success, and laughs when trying to key plants.
My love and thanks to my wife, Betty the beader, superb chef, amazing wildflower spotter, and my constant companion. Betty is always a joy and surprise to be with.
And my gratitude to Willi Coyote, first dog in my life. Willi adopted Betty and me in 2006 and she has been our constant companion since then. If only we human beings would emulate the wild critters of our beautiful world.
And, of course, unending thanks to all the wild plants.
Photographs, written material, design, and all other aspects of this web site are
Proceeds from the sale of Al's photographs pay for this web site.
HOME PAGE SEARCH
BY PLANT NAME
FERNS PINK/RED/ORANGE FLOWERS TREES WHITE FLOWERS YELLOW FLOWERS CONTACT US