A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

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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…)


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…)

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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


Bell Catchfly (Silene campanulata)

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Viewpoint Mike Trail, Lost Creek Lake, OR, 4/2018.

We recently photographed this uncommon catchfly, and then realized we had also seen it on a previous trip visiting, Oregon’s southern Cascades.  Although common in this limited area, we more often see Parry’s Catchfly, elsewhere in the northwest.  (more…)


Royal Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium carneum)

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Cone Peak Trail, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2016.

We rarely see this flower in full bloom, and then hardly ever without an insect of some sort on its lovely petals.  (more…)


Scabland Penstemon (Penstemon deustus)

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Cone Peak Trail, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2019.

Amazingly….we continue to find more northwest penstemons! This one is unique in its stems of creamy white rather than the traditional purple, pink, or blue flowers (more…)


Giant White Wake Robin (Trillium albidum)

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Camassia Nature Preserve, West Linn, OR, 4/2019.

“What a pleasure, seeing the year’s first trilliums in March or April, just when the winter rains feel like Forever!”  —  Daniel Mathews, Cascade-Olympic Natural History

We couldn’t agree more! (more…)


Leatherleaf Saxifrage (Leptarrhena pyrolifolia)

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Bagley Creek, Mount Baker National Forest, WA, 7/2016.

We didn’t initial think this plant was a saxifrage because we mostly saw the red seed heads and stems, (more…)


Turkey Peas (Orogenia fusiformis)

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Cone Peak, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2017.

This small and humble flower is often one of the earliest we find on hikes in the eastern gorge, and could be around now in places like the Dalles Mountain Ranch and Seven-Mile Hill west of The Dalles, (more…)


White-stemmed Frasera (Frasera albicaulis var. Columbiana)

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Major Creek Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2017.

This attractive member of the gentian family is also sometimes called Elkweed. (more…)


Tolmie’s Saxifrage (Saxifraga tolmiei)

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Vista Ridge Trail, Mt. Hood Wilderness, OR, 8/2016.

Yet another of the many northwest saxifrage species; (more…)


White Sweetvetch (Hedysarum sulphurescens)

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Boundary Trail, Horseshoe Basin, Pasayten Wilderness, WA, 7/2016.

Grizzly food! Good thing we didn’t know this fact (more…)


Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)

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South Puyallup Trail, Mt Rainier National Park, WA, 7/2015.

This member of the orchid family is common in conifer woodlands across the west and northwest.  (more…)


Western False Asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa)

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Along the banks of Royal Lake, Olympic N.P., WA, 7/2016.

We’ve probably mistaken these for Death Camas, Bistort, or Valerian on many occasions. (more…)


Clasping Leaf Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius)

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Royal Basin trail, Olympic National Park, 7/2016.

This is the most common of the 3 twisted-stalks in our region.  (more…)


Sitka Mistmaiden (Romanzoffia sitchensis)

 

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Mary’s Peak, Siuslaw National Forest, 6/2016.

The common name “mistmaiden” is surely appropriate for these delightful flowers. (more…)