This week’s flower is Purple Easter Daisy, Townsendia eximia. It’s called Easter Daisy because its stemless white cousin, T. exscapa, blooms in early spring around Easter time. I’d call it Purple Daisy. It’s blooming in lots of places —Dot Grant Trail, Quemazon Trail, Frijoles Canyon, and Bayo Canyon, especially South Trail.
“When Nathaniel Wyeth led his second expedition to the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia in 1834, he was accompanied by a young ornithologist, John Kirk Townsend. Townsend, and his companion Thomas Nuttall, a botanist, were among the first naturalists to study these regions. Specimens taken by Townsend were an important contribution to the work of Audubon.Their journey took the naturalists to Independence, MO, where they joined Wyeth’s party. From there, they proceeded west over what was to become the Oregon Trail, to the trapper’s Rendezvous on Ham’s Fork of the Green River. Continuing west, the party established Fort Hall, near what is now Pocatello, ID. Thence onward to Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia.”