A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Archive for July, 2013

Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)

Cone Peak Trail, near Iron Mountain, OR, 7/2014.

Cone Peak Trail, near Iron Mountain, OR, 7/2014.

This strange dark flower grows close to the forest floor, requiring one to hunt under the tell-tale heart-shaped leaves to find it.  Its discovery can make your day! (more…)


Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii)

Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2013.

Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2013.

Idahoans may recognize this low-elevation, white-flowered shrub as their state flower.  (more…)


Bronze Bells (Stenanthium occidentale)

Near Easy Pass, North Cascades NP, WA 8/2012.

Near Easy Pass, North Cascades NP, WA 8/2012.

This uncommon (and uncommonly modest) lily has a nodding raceme of bells rising from grassy onion-like leaves. (more…)


Partridge Foot (Luetkea pectinata)

Lookout Mountain, OR, 7/2013.

Lookout Mountain, OR, 7/2013.

Both the Latin and the common name come from the leaves.  Pectinata means  “comb-like,” and the birds  whose feet they are compared to are really grouse, who were once called partridges by hunters, and who have feathery feet. (more…)


Taper-tip Onion (Allium acuminatum)

Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA,  6/2013

Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2013.

All species of wild onion, including this one, are edible. (more…)


Small-flowered Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii)

SONY DSC

Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA 6/2013.

The nickname comes from the flower head’s resemblance to the curled tuning head of a violin.  The bristle-like hairs that cover this plant can irritate the skin.  The tiny black nuts that are produced by each flower are said to be poisonous to cattle.

(more…)


Big-Head Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum)

Grassy Knoll Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2013.

Grassy Knoll Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2013.

The palmately divided leaves, looking much like those of the lupine, are a giveaway that it’s in the pea family.  It’s underground rhizome roots can result in a large area covered with the small blooms.  The most showy of the clovers, it differs from other trifolium by locating only in thin dry gravelly soil.  (more…)


Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea)

Fisher Creek Trail, North Cascades N.P. , WA, 8/2012.

Many urn-shaped flowers filled with seeds hang like pendants off a long raceme in this showy saprophyte (a name for plants that derive their nourishment from decaying plant material).  (more…)