Spreading Phlox, Gaylor Lakes Trail

Spreading Phlox

Few visitors go to Yosemite with the purpose of getting ensnared in the sordid, scandalous wildflower underworld, yet it happens all too easily: Yosemite hosts hundreds of varieties in a growing season that stretches for months over a range of elevations, and it's all too easy to be lured by their seductive beauty into sitting and watching and gradually becoming enraptured as the bees flit from flower to flower, spreading pollen in the most casual of manners - a reproductive technique that, were you to emulate it, would certainly prevent you from getting elected to public office in the midwest.

Spreading Phlox, pictured here, is insular and inbred, a cultish plant populating remote & rocky ground where other flowers are afraid or unwilling to grow. Are they outcasts, shunned by the flower community because of bad hygiene or libertine behavior beyond even the lax standards of wilderflower society, or are they just adventurers seeking room to breathe? Unfortunately, nobody's talking.

This specimen was growing at around 10,500 feet (3,150 meters) elevation in late July along the Gaylor Lakes trail. Besides the lascivious lavender version pictured here, it also grows in wayward white and promiscuous pink varieties.

To learn more about Yosemite's shameless variety of wildflower species, see this site's Yosemite Wildflower Guide (SFW).