Two prickly locals

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Lilac sunbonnets (top, Langloisia setosissima) begin blooming in the Owens Valley in late March or early April. Look for broad-leaf gilias (above bottom, Aliciella latifolia) in low-lying reaches of the White and Inyo mountains. Broad-leaf gilias and lilac sunbonnets are both part of the same flower family as showy skypilots (Polemonium eximium), the deep purple flowers that grace our highest alpine altitudes. Look and love, but don’t touch—those spines sting.