Did you see the Pink Elephants ( the San Juan Wildflower anyway)
All the sudden the Jeep Tour Guide brings the rig to a complete stop, turns and asks, “Did any of you folks see the little Pink Elephants?” Now I would have been a bit suspicious of this guy’s sanity since the trip began. I mean, who the heck would want to hang off the edge of 1000 ft drops behind the wheel of a 4×4 jeep for a living anyway and now the guy is hallucinating, oh dear. He is asking again, is he serious? What is that he said? He had a case of Beer for breakfast? Well, no wonder he is seeing Pink Elephants. Now he is getting out of the Jeep, saying may be he is not fit to be driving, that’s good, but now who will drive? Oh my! Look, he is bending over, is he throwing up? Wait he is holding something out to us, something small between his fingers. WOW, now look at that, the little flower really does look like the head of a Pink Elephant with a trunk and big forehead and the floppy ears, how cute! I guess that Jeep driver was just fooling us.
You can tell the Pink Elephant is my favorite San Juan Wildflower
It really is because I can have a lot of fun with em! Other names include elephant heads and red elephants, and elephantella. The scientific genus name is Pedicularis groenlandica. It is a member of the Figwort family or Scrophulariaceae which also includes the domestic foxgloves and snapdragons, as well as the wild and domestic penstemons.
This San Juan Wildflower begins to bloom in the High country first part of July but can be seen as late as August in some areas. It is most frequently found in wetlands, and if you find little pink elephants, you know the soil in the area is moist most of the summer. Often these wildflowers will be found in large groupings and would then be called a Herd of Pink Elephants, Oh My!!
Can you see the Pink Elephant San Juan Wild Flower Now?
Ever seen Pink Elephants while driving in the High Country, tell me about it on Facebook!