This is what it looked like 3 miles from the Sunrise trail head last Thursday. Much more to come from our recent Mt. Rainier trip. Amazing!!!
These classic cushion shaped plants dot the open, gravelly, mountain tops of the Pacific Northwest. (more…)
According to Scotter & Flygare’s Wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies, the black-tipped bracts “were considered by the Inuit to be a sign of mourning for a band of unsuspecting Inuit massacred in 1771 by Indian warriors who accompanied the explorer Samuel Hearne on his expedition to the Arctic Coast. Sir John Richardson first collected this plant near the massacre site, Bloody Falls, on the Coppermine River and named it lugens from the latin word ‘to mourn’.”
Young leaves and flowers can be eaten raw. Native Americans used the dried stems as a salt substitute.
This plant’s boiled roots were once used as a cure for diarrhea. It’s better known cousin, Crimson Columbine can be found here.
As the common name suggests, the fruits are not edible. The latin name comes from Archibald Menzies, a surgeon and naturalist with Vancouver’s Pacific Coast expedition (1790-95), an early botanist of pacific northwest plants.