Polemonium viscosum and Phlox condensata
while climbing Wheeler Peak, at summit
elevation 13,065 feet (3,982 m)
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Phlox condensata is the sweetest smelling of alpine flowers and it is often so abundant that on still days the air is redolent with its fragrance. In favorable summers of normal moisture, Phlox condensata flowers profusely; in dry summers only the tight green tufts of tiny leaves show with perhaps a few dry flowers. "Condensata" is Latin for "coming together thickly", this is referring to the thick mat of tiny leaves.
Phlox condensata is a species of phlox known by the common name dwarf phlox. It is native to the western United States including eastern California, Nevada, and Colorado, where it grows in rocky, mountainous areas. It is a very compact mat-forming perennial herb growing in patches often less than a centimeter tall. The toothlike lance-shaped leaves are no more than half a centimeter long and lined with stiff hairs. The inflorescence is a solitary tubular flower...