A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

heath

Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana)

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Illinois River Trail,  Kalmiopsis Wilderness, OR, 3/2018.

It’s hard to believe that this plant was unknown until Portland botanist Lilla Leach and her husband discovered it in 1930 (more…)


Sidebells (Pyrola secunda)

Union Creek Trail,  William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Union Creek Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Although perhaps the least showy of the pyrolas, the tell-tale curved stalk is endearing when repeated in a grouping, explaining it’s common name of sidebells or one-sided wintergreen.     (more…)


Wood Nymph (Moneses uniflora)

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Deer Mountain Trail, Ketchikan, AK, 7/2017.

Some books put this plant in the Pyrola (wintergreen) genus, while others give it it’s own: Moneses. (more…)


Fringed Pinesap (Pleuricospora fimbriolata)

Table Rock Trail, Table Rock Wilderness, OR  8/2016.

Table Rock Trail, Table Rock Wilderness, OR 8/2016.

Easy to miss, and difficult to identify (more…)


Yellow Mountain Heather (Phyllodoce glanduliflora)

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

We’ve only encountered this heather variety a handful of times;  (more…)


Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale)

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

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

In the same southern Oregon fen where we found the unusual pitcher plant, these amazing flowering shrubs were just beginning to bloom.   (more…)


Copperbush (Elliottia pyroliflora)

Saddle Mountain Trail,  Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, OR, 6/2015.

Saddle Mountain Trail, Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, OR, 6/2015.

We were shocked and disappointed that not one of our many wildflower guides featured this native flowering shrub. (more…)


Candy Stick (Allotropa virgata)

South Prairie Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 7/2014.

South Prairie Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 7/2014.

Sometimes called “Sugarstick” or “Barber’s Pole”; this is certainly one of the odder-looking plants we’ve come across.  (more…)


White Heather (Cassiope mertensiana)

Burnt Lake Trail, Mount Hood N.W., OR, 7/2013.

Burnt Lake Trail, Mount Hood N.W., OR, 7/2013.

The leaves of this low, alpine shrub are scale-like, reminiscent of evergreens such as cedars and cypresses, compared to the spruce-like needles of the pink and yellow heathers.  (more…)


Little Pipsissewa aka Little Prince’s Pine (Chimaphila menziesii)

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Rooster Rock Trail, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2019.

Both the common names refer to this plant resembling a smaller version of the common Pipsissewa (umbellata). (more…)


Pinesap (Hypopitys monotropa)

Timberline trail near McNeil point, Mount Hood, OR, 8/2014.

Timberline trail near McNeil point, Mount Hood, OR, 8/2014.

Along with Mertens’ Coral Root, one of the more common, and less attractive of the chlorophyll lacking plants in northwest forests.  (more…)


Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Hamilton Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 7/2014.

Hamilton Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 7/2014.

Yesterday, we saw over thirty specimens of this supposedly uncommon saprophyte along the first two miles of the Hamilton Mountain trail (along with four Phantom orchids)!   (more…)


Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

McCord Creek Falls Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR 6/2013.

McCord Creek Falls Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR 6/2013.

Common in the dry, western, low-elevation Cascades, this shrub is said to have been a favorite of famed botanist David Douglas.  (more…)


Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA,  6/2013.

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2013.

The name is a Native American word meaning “something to smoke,”  referring to their use of the dried  leaves of this plant, sometimes mixed with tobacco.  (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…)


White Rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum)

Upper Thunder Basin, North Cascades N.P., WA, 8/2012.

Also known as cascade azalea and mountain misery (due to the problems hikers have getting through the tangled, slippery branches).


Pink Mountain Heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)

Mt. Rainier N.P., WA, 8/2011.

“The genus is named for a sea nymph.  Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), father of the binary naming system for plants, also started the custom of naming members of the heath family after nymphs and goddesses.”  Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest.  Compare to white heather. (more…)


Fool’s Huckleberry aka False Azalea (Menziesia ferruginea)

Red Earth Trail, Banff N.P., Alberta, Canada 7/2011.

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.


Bog Laurel (Kalmia polifolia)

Shadow Lake, Banff N.P., Alberta, Canada


Hairy Manzanita (Arctostaphylos columbiana)

Marble Mountains, CA.  6/2005.

(more…)


Prince’s Pine aka Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Olympic NP Forest. 8/2010.

Indians and early settlers used this plant to relieve rheumatism and skin irritations.  (more…)