A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

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Clustered Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum)

Weldon Wagon Wheel Trail, WA 5/2022.

We nearly passed up this rare orchid, well camouflaged within inches of the trail.  This single plant with a pair of intricate nodding slipper flowers was the prize of a blustery May hike on a flower covered ridge just north of the Columbia Gorge.  (more…)


Warrior’s Plume (Pedicularis densiflora)

 Cathedral Hills Park, Grants Pass, OR 3/2022.

When we think of Pedicularis, we think of alpine plants like Elephant head and the various Louseworts we find in the moist meadows of Mt Rainier and the high Cascades.  (more…)


White Shooting Star (Dodecatheon dentatum)

Elowah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, OR. 5/2021.

Elated to discover multiple specimens of this unusual White Shooting Star growing out of a dripping wet cliffside in the Columbia Gorge! (more…)


Oregon Fetid Adder’s Tongue (Scoliopus hallii)

McDowell Creek Falls, Linn County, OR, 3/2021.

This  wildflower has been on our most wanted list for some time… (more…)


Olympic Mountain Aster (Aster paucicapitatus)

Olympic National Forest, WA 8/2020.

Aster is Greek for “star”. Fields of these mixed with purple Thistles (Cirsium edule) graced our hike up Mt. Ellinor this summer, where the flowers, not the views (hidden by fog), were the main event.

(more…)

Piper’s Bellflower (Campanula piperi)

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Olympic National Forest, WA, 8/2020.

A long car ride followed by a steep and crowded trail were suddenly made worthwhile when we spotted these endemic bellflowers growing in-between the rocks (more…)


Elmera (Elmera racemosa)

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Mt. Ellinor trail, Olympic National Forest, WA, 8/2020.

We often see these spikes of cream-colored bells on rocky peaks and ridges.  (more…)


American Speedwell (Veronica americana)

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Devil’s Rest Trail, Columbia River Gorge, OR, 7/2020.

We often encounter the tiny four-petaled blue flowers of the Veronica genus on our hikes in a variety of settings. (more…)


Mountain Sagewort (Artemesia norvegica)

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Tatoosh Ridge Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA, 7/2020.

These Mountain Sageworts were mixed into the incredible flower fields we found on Tatoosh Ridge south of Mt. Rainier.  (more…)


Yellow Sand Verbena (Abronia latifolia)

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North Trail, Cape Lookout State Park, OR, 7/2020.

One of two species of sand verbena native and unique to the Pacific coast (the other is Pink Sand Verbena, A. umbellata), which blooms all summer and into the fall. (more…)


Stream Orchid (Epipactis gigantea)

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Along the Trask River, Tillamook County, OR, 7/2020.

Yay!  After spending years at the top of our most wanted list, we finally tracked down this supposedly common orchid, but only after nearly walking by large groups of them twice.  (more…)


Cardwell’s Penstemon (Penstemon cardwellii)

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Boundary Trail, Mt. St. Helen’s National Park, WA,  6/2018.

Yet another brilliantly colored Penstemon, P. cardwellii thrives in thin sandy soils, like the northwest side of Mt. St. Helen’s, where we found a stunning display.  (more…)


Dusky Horkelia (Horkelia fusca)

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Eight Mile Creek Loop, Mt. Hood National Forest, OR, 6/2020.

This small and rather plain member of the rose family, also known as “Pink Pinwheels”, was prevalent in a small, sunny meadow near the trailhead on a recent hike on the east side of Mt. Hood.  (more…)


Narrow-Leaved Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)

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Rowena Plateau, Tom McCall Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 7/2015

Milkweeds, genus Asclepias, are often plain, overlooked, and rarely appear in our wildflower reference guides, but A. fascicularis, in particular is critical to the survival of  Monarch butterflies! (more…)


Sticky Cinquefoil (Potentilla glandulosa)

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Badger Creek Wilderness, OR, 5/2016.

In the early 2000s, through DNA identification and global research advances, a few of the Cinquefoils, including this common lower elevation meadow flower, were moved from the Potentilla genus to the new Drymocallis genus. To date all three Drymocallis species’ share the trait of being  ‘protocarnivorous.’ (more…)


Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa)

Dalles Mountain Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Dalles Mountain Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Unlike the phlox we commonly see carpeting gravelly windswept mountain passes, the p. speciosa variety is a taller plant found in open woods and meadows at low elevation , often mixed with other grassland flowers. (more…)


Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla)

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Three Corner Rock Trail, Skamania County, WA, 5/2020.

It’s nearly impossible to hike in the Cascades without recognizing large drifts of this common plant in the understory, but nearly as rare is seeing it in bloom.  (more…)


Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

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Weldon Wagon Road Trail, Klickitat County, WA .5/2020.

This native flowering plant is one we often see on spring hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, (more…)


Thick-leaf Thelypody (Thelypodium laciniatum var. laciniatum)

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Lyle Cherry Orchard Trailhead, Columbia Gorge, WA,  4/2016.

This early bloomer is only found in dry rocky sites at lower and middle elevations. In fact, most of the photos we’ve seen of this uncommon plant have it springing directly from a rock face. (more…)


Silverleaf Phacelia (Phacelia hastata)

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Upper Canyon Creek Meadows Trail, Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, OR, 7/2019.

We found this guy holding on amidst alpine scree and snow near the crest of central Oregon’s Three Fingered Jack this summer. (more…)


Oregon Geranium (Geranium Oreganum)

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Pacific Crest Trail, Hobart Bluff, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, OR, 7/2019.

We found these large purple flowers in alluring sun-spotted drifts while hiking this summer in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the Pacific Crest Trail.  (more…)


Roundleaf Alumroot (Heuchera Cylindrica)

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Tygh Creek Trail, Badger Creek Wilderness, OR, 5/2016.

Roundleaf Alumroot is a demure relative of the bold colored Heucheras one finds in home gardens. (more…)


Idaho Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)

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Willow Creek Nature Preserve, Eugene, OR, 5/2016.

This is the most common of the bashful blue-eyed grasses we encounter, (more…)


Wedgeleaf Violet (Viola cuneata)

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Eight Dollar Mountain, Selma, OR, 4/2015.

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. (more…)