Although still only July, the purple-hued flowers typical of late summer in Paradise Meadows are starting to bloom.
On the way up the hill, and near the trailhead, tall spikes of fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) are purplish-pink.
Another Epilobium recently noticed in the meadows is probably purple-leaved willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum).
We were amazed to see the first king gentian (Gentiana sceptrum) blooming in the meadows, at least a month earlier than normal. In heavy snow years, the blossoms never open before the frost hits – although bees still force their way inside the flower to pollinate it.
The late blooming leafy aster (Aster foliaceus) is already blooming alongside its very similar relative, the subalpine daisy ( Erigeron peregrinus).
Arctic lupine (Lupinus arcticus) has a long blooming season – quite a bit has been flowering for a couple of weeks.
The delicate alpine speedwell (Veronica wormskjoldii) was widespread in the meadows this year & some is still blooming.
A new white flower similar to the bog-orchids has emerged – ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana) , with its white flowers spiralling around the stem. There is a patch larger than I have seen before, right beside the boardwalk.
Butterflies are emerging as well – this fritillary nectaring on a sticky false asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa).