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Start your journey with Rocky Mountain Wildflowers and discover the small, colorful treasures that grow in the realm of rugged, snow-capped peaks. Most of these species grow close to the ground to take advantage of the warmth escaping from the soil and to avoid the cold, drying winds.

Notice how large the flowers are compared to their leaves. They are advertising themselves to passing pollinators like neon lights on a highway billboard. With a snow-free season of only 4 months, these species have to be in full flower when the warm weather of midsummer brings pollinating insects and birds.

Some of the alpine species actually form flower buds under snow. As soon as that winter blanket thins enough to allow light to filter down to the plants, the flower stalks push up, breaking the crust of the snow, and the flowers unfurl their petals.

Under the snow, the plants are protected from the sub-zero air temperatures. In fact, the temperature stays right around freezing at the contact point between soil and snow with just a few inches of snow for insulation.

Klaus & I live on the border between the Montane and Subalpine Zones. About 1,500 feet above us, the alpine tundra begins. The elevation of the beginning of the alpine tundra varies widely depending on latitude - being over 12,000 feet in New Mexico but just 10,000 feet in Montana.

Some alpine and subalpine wildflowers can be found all along the long spine of the Rocky Mountains while others are endemic to one small area. Several species pictured in these albums are rare endemics that few hikers ever see.

So, come along with us on a virtual wildflower walk and enjoy the beauty of these delicate jewels.

You may also enjoy my new Peak 7 Area wildflowers identification website. Click here to view over 200 species that grow wild in my neighborhood:

We have tried our very best to name each species accurately. However, if you see one misnamed, please send the correct identification to

Klaus & Jane Hendrix