A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Archive for March, 2011

Western Anemone seed head (Anemone occidentalis)

Glacier Peak, WA. 8/2006.

This is the seed head of the plant, after the flower has gone.  The flower is here.  The plant has many nicknames,  including Chalice Flower and Western Pasqueflower, and the unusual looking seed head has given it several more, including Old Man of the Mountain and Tow-headed Baby, and we’ve even heard it called “Mouse-on-a-stick.”  The ones in this picture are certainly mouse-like.  Washington’s Glacier Peak is in the background.


Calypso aka Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa)

Marble Mountains, CA. 8/2005.

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Cliff Maids aka Siskiyou Lewisia (Lewisia Cotyledon)

Marble Mountains, CA. 8/2005.

Compare to Quil-leaved Lewisia.


Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

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Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

There’s no mistaking the unique sculptural Columbine for any other mountain flower.  It’s a good day when you find these elegant beauties gracing a trail en mass. (more…)


Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Rainy Lake Road, OR, 6/2014.

Rainy Lake Road, OR, 6/2014.

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Queen’s Cup aka Bead Lily (Clintonia uniflora)

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.


Avalanche Lily (Erythronium montanum)

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

Also known as “dogtooth violet” (?) and “alpine fawn lily.”  (more…)


Beargrass aka Indian Basket Grass (Xerophyllum tenax)

Mount Hood NF, OR, 7/2010.

As the alternate name implies, Native Americans used this plant to construct baskets, hats and cooking pots.  The plant was so important to them that it was used in trade. (more…)


Giant Red Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

IMG_4753crop paintbrush

Upper Thunder Basin, North Cascades N.P., WA, 8/2012.

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Tiger Lily aka Columbia Lily (Lilium columbianum)

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Iron Mountain Trail, Willamette National Forest, OR, 7/2014.

So many memories of wonderful trails laced with the tall, leggy tiger lily blooms waving with the breeze, ahh……. (more…)


Broad-leaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius)

Lost Pass, Olympic NP. 8/2010.

All Lupines share the easily identifiable palmate leaf. Particular lupine species are notoriously difficult to identify.    (more…)


Marsh Marigold aka Elk’s Lip (Caltha leptosepala)

Sturgeon Trail near Silver Star Mountain, WA, 5/2015.

Sturgeon Trail near Silver Star Mountain, WA, 5/2015.

Medieval  Christians dedicated this flower to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Shakespeare makes reference to it in his play Cymbeline(more…)


Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)

Olympic NP woodlands. 8/2010.

These paired, delicate,  trumpet-shaped flowers are a  personal favorite of ours as well as  Swedish scientist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778),  father of modern plant and animal nomenclature (he developed the binomial system of using two Latin names to designate the genus and species) for whom they are named.  Linnaeus was so taken with the flowers, he incorporated them into his family crest.

The runners of this trailing evergreen cover the forest floor, and are often found growing from decomposing logs and moss-covered stumps.  Kootenay Indians made tea from its leaves.


Prince’s Pine aka Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Olympic NP Forest. 8/2010.

Indians and early settlers used this plant to relieve rheumatism and skin irritations.  (more…)


Elephant Head (Pedicularis groenlandica)

Cameron Basin, Olympic NP, WA, 8/2010.

This plant likes the same marshy meadows that mosquitoes love, and it’s rare to see it without hearing their annoying buzz.  The Latin would have one believe that it is prevalent in Greenland.

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