Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Fitweed nectar attracts pollinators, nectar robbers
As Trail 403 climbs out of Washington Gulch in the Elk Mountains, it winds through many patches of a conspicuous and strikingly beautiful wildflower, Corydalis caseana, also known as Case's...
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Achemon sphinx moths’ range is shrinking
While watering my rock garden, I inadvertently flushed an Achemon sphinx moth, Eumorpha achemon, which flew less than 20 feet to clutch onto a Stella D'Oro lily, where it stayed...
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Downy painted cup adapts to changes in pollinators and root hosts across its range
Castilleja sessiliflora is an Indian paintbrush, commonly referred to as prairie fire, Great Plains Indian paintbrush, downy Indian paintbrush or downy painted cup.
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Watercress is defended by chemicals that appeal to humans
This year I noticed that Trout Creek was packed with the small, bright white, green and yellow flowers of watercress, Nasturtium officinale.
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Evening primroses illustrate complexities of floral fragrance
Evening primroses typically bear large flowers, up to three inches across, that open at dusk and are pollinated by sphinx moths between dusk and dawn.
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Packrats build time capsules inside canyon walls
The Colorado Plateau — in western Colorado, southeastern Utah, northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico — is commonly called red rock country or canyon country, both referring to formations of...
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Death camas and death camas miner bees have a rare relationship
Death camas, a poisonous plant, grows on the shale outcrop of Niobrara and Pierre shale where Neva Road meets U.S. 36 several miles north of Boulder.
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Native Americans used desert holly for food, dyes and medicines
In early April a colleague and I were hiking upstream in the Little Grand Canyon when we stopped for a rest and to assess a woody shrub, almost five feet...
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Redpolls reflect continuous variation influenced by a supergene in a single species
Molecular genetic studies of species are giving us clearer, more precise views of the natural world around us. These sorts of studies have the greatest public impacts when they reveal...
Jeff Mitton: Natural Selections: Ruddy copper butterflies are sexually dimorphic for color and color vision
During my last visit to Meadow Creek Lake on the White River Plateau, ruddy copper butterflies were so focused on the nectar provided by asters that they could be approached...