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Wildflower Wednesday: Glorious Globemallow

February 24, 2010

For Wildflower Wednesday, I’d like to focus on globemallow, or cowboy’s delight.  Isn’t that a wonderful common name?  If we’re going to talk about native plants I might as well show some globemallow in a natural environment.  Plant geeks must stop their bike rides to check out interesting plants along the way.

sea of globemallow on the Gemini Bridges trail

The above picture was taken on the Gemini Bridges trail (click for climb-utah’s bridges photos) in Moab, Utah. If you’ve ever been to Moab (click for DiscoverMoab) and traveled this trail, you will recognize the Gooney Bird Rock which is right across the road from the sea of globemallow I photographed.

Gooney Bird Rock

I googled cowboy’s delight and found that it refers to sphaeralcea coccinea, a small globemallow that has volunteered in my garden.  It never makes a mass, just pops up here and there and I let them be.  I tried to transplant some once and they promptly croaked.

The globemallow most commonly sold in the nurseries around here are sphaeralcea munroana- Munro’s Globemallow and sphaeralcea grossulariifolia. As you can imagine I had to look up the spelling of those names. I love to look up native plants and to look at the distribution maps and photos.

sphaeralcea grossulariifolia with fragrant evening primrose oenothera caespitosa

On another road in Moab, to Hurrah Pass down in the bottoms there was a sight that lives on in my memory of masses of orange globemallows and white primroses at the base of a sheer cliff. The mix of orange and white inspired the planting in the above picture. My small garden doesn’t have grandeur but we make do with what we have.

Globemallow with 'Siskyou Blue' fescue and Rocky Mountain columbine

At Conservation Garden Park in the dry garden there are beautiful globemallows. This xeriscape is beautifully designed and full of inspiration. My home garden has so far to go. These photos were taken during the photography class mentioned in the Rainbow post. By the way, for Utahns, Conservation Garden Park has all of their Free Classes listed for the season. You can click on the link above, or Slow the Flow over in my sidebar.

Globemallows at Conservation Garden Park

Last here is something I purchased as cushion globemallow, sphaeralcea caespitosa which is not low and cushiony at all and is also indistinguishable from my grossulariifolia, which is in turn indistinguishable from munroana (at least to me). Maybe something fishy is going on at the nurseries.

Orange you glad you saw some globemallow today? Groan, yes I’m a dork. Thank you to Gail at Clay and Limestone, host of Wildflower Wednesday. I really enjoy participating.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 10:57 am

    What a marvelous post for Wildflower Wednesday~I love Cowboys Delight! All your photos are calling to me to visit your beautiful part of the garden! …but, the purple and re/orange in your last photo just says wow! I am so very glad you joined us…I love being able to learn about wildflower

  2. February 24, 2010 5:54 pm

    The flower is lovely, but I had a hard time focusing on it with the spectacular background.

  3. February 25, 2010 11:08 am

    The cowboy’s delight is a gorgeous wildflower ~ what spectacular
    scenery comes along with it. I loved the picture which included
    the fragrant evening primrose. Wow, that must have been a sight.

  4. February 25, 2010 11:58 am

    I love Globe Mallow and grow quite a few different colors in my garden. Sphaeralcea ambigua is what is found in our SW deserts and has orange flowers usually although there are reds, purples, pinks and whites available. I love your beautiful photos.

  5. February 26, 2010 5:55 am

    Thanks Gail, it was so fun coming up with the post. Maybe as I continue participating, we will find some native plant overlap, or close relatives. Maybe if I do more mountain plants where there is more available moisture, we might find some plants (or relatives) in common.
    I’m glad you like the combos in the last picture,the purple and the hot pink behind it are natives too!

    Les, I’m glad you liked the view. I’m sure you’d find many photo opportunites in Moab. In addition to the mountain biking trails, there are two National Parks right out of Moab: Arches and Canyonlands. Thanks so much for visiting.

    It was a spectacular sight that lives on in my mind’s eye. I have planted many of the primroses and globemallows in my xeric area, but it’s still a work in progress.

    Hey Noelle,
    It seems ambigua has so many colors, doesn’t it? I had a pink ‘Louis Hamilton’ variety that didn’t over winter, so it scared me off trying more. I think my sis (rthoseweeds) has some ambigua, and I think she said it overwintered. Maybe she’ll pipe up and tell us. I’d love to see the various colors that you have down there!

  6. February 26, 2010 1:31 pm

    Bloomin Rs:
    What a wonderful post for Wildflower Wednesday! The scenery is spectacular. And, I just love the Globemallow paired with the primrose and fescue. I find myself becoming more and more fond of oranges mixed with purples. Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful flower. 🙂

  7. March 1, 2010 6:42 pm

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear these photos were taken in Sedona Arizona, where we vacationed in the fall. Globemallow is a very pretty wildflower, and not one we see here in the midwest.

  8. March 2, 2010 10:15 am

    Thanks Liisa, I’m glad you like the globemallow. I like everything with purples, but I figured blues and purples would be good with orange.

    Thanks for visiting Robin. Utah has some varying natural landscapes, and there’s a good amount of redrock desert in the southern part of the state; I’ve never been to Sedona, AZ, but the pictures sure look pretty.

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