Description: Flower is 2 to 3 inches wide with orange to purplish-red diskflowers surrounded by yellow rayflowers. Stands on a stem 8 to 30 inches tall with lance-shaped leaves up to 6 inches long growing from lower part of stem. Blooms June to early August in medium-dry to moist soil in open areas and on foothills. (“Peterson Field Guides Rocky Mountain Wildflowers,” by John J. Craighead, Frank C. Craighead Jr. and Ray J. Davis.)
Recently seen: North Hills, Mount Jumbo and Blue Mountain National Recreation Area.
The walk: There’s a bit of blanketflower out in the North Hills right now, especially on the southernmost slope. The trailhead is at the north end of Orange Street, where it becomes the Interstate 90 on-ramp and off-ramp. Follow the trail to the northwest of the parking area for a short distance, then cross through a gate on the north side of the path. The trail switches back up to a junction with the Fireline Trail. Turn southeast, walking uphill to the next junction. Turn northwest, and after a short distance join the Ridgeline Trail. Look for blanketflower between the trailhead and the ridge. From the ridge, follow the trail northwest to the top of Randolph Hill at 1.7 miles. Turn around here or continue farther on the Ridgeline Trail. I’ve seen more blanketflower downhill to the northwest of Randolph Hill.