Mountain Death Camas or Ballhead Sandwort?

Brief by Central Staff

Outdoors – May 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Got a favorite alpine wildflower? If you do, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative wants your opinion.

The group co-ordinates volunteers with public and private entities to reduce the wear-and-tear on Colorado’s highest peaks, and it’s looking for “one of the 250 species of Fourteener wildflowers that best symbolizes the beauty and fragile nature of the alpine” environment.

The selected flower “will be used as an icon to identify restoration projects, educational principles, and other ecologically-sound practices associated with CFI’s programs.”

Our copy of the newsletter said to visit the group’s website ( — make sure it’s plural, as takes you to an amateur radio group) to vote for your favorite alpine wildflower. However, our 10-minute search of the site did not disclose any place to vote.

Our research elsewhere disclosed some interesting names for alpine flowers, though, among them Ballhead Sandwort, Elephanthead, Milkvetch, Cutleaf Daisy, and the Mountain Death-Camas.

Of those, the Elephanthead would have been best suited for iconic purposes, since it’s easy to recognize. But the Mountain Death-Camas would doubtless serve better as a safety reminder.