Wedgeleaf Violet (Viola cuneata)
A special two-colored violet found only in serpentine soils at the Oregon-California border, a unique botanical environment we return to again and again.
“Eight Dollar Mountain is one of the most significant botanical sites in Oregon..” according to the US Forest Service. One of many gems within the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion, a world-recognized botanically-rich knot of several ancient mountains ranges with a complex geology, serpentine soils, and Bigfoot myths. The area “largely remained free from glaciers during the last Ice Age when most of the continent was under ice…. acted as a rare refuge for plants and animals otherwise displaced … allowing diverse species to mingle…”, according to KSWild. Two other Oregon peaks that also skirted the last Ice Age’s glaciers (and also rich in botany) are Saddle Mountain and Mary’s Peak.
Note: The separate Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument overlaps the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion shown above, west of I-5, protecting a land-bridge between the Cascades and Klamath Mountains.
Recommended reading: The Klamath Knot (David Rains Wallace, Sierra Club Books, 1983), a controversial and award-winning memoir that weaves together the region’s myths and natural history, a “sleeper” “Klamath Cult Classic”.
Recommended hiking: The Bigfoot Trail…a 360 mile adventure trek, under construction!