A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.


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…)

Royal Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium carneum)

DSC03084 Great Jacob's Ladder.JPG

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…)

Varied-leaf Collomia (Collomia heterophylla)

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Glacier Lake Trail, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot NF, WA, 6/2018.

The Varied-leaf Collomia is a much smaller sibling to the previously-posted Grandiflora collomia. Although their tiny sweet pink flowers (more…)

Nuttall’s Linanthus (Linanthus nuttallii)


South Puyallup Trail, Mt. Rainier N.P. 7/2015.

This fragrant phlox relative, sporting distinctive needle-like leaves, appears to be relatively common in alpine and subalpine areas in much of the western U.S.  (more…)

Elegant Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium elegans)

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Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, 7/2017.

We found this version of Jacob’s Ladder in the stark, rocky, alpine zone of Marmot Pass at the eastern edge of the Olympic Mountains, along with phlox, cutleaf fleabane (see third photo), and moss campion. (more…)

Large-flowered Collomia (Collomia grandiflora)

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

This stalk of small flowers stands out for its unusual salmon color and contrasting blue pollen. It grows in dry sandy soils west of the Continental Divide.  (more…)

Hood’s Phlox (Phlox hoodi)

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

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

Phlox is Greek for “flame” (apparently named after a bright red variety). (more…)

Baby Stars (Linanthus bicolor)


Tom McCall Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR 4/2013.

These lovely, tiny flowers are barely over an inch or two from the ground.  (more…)

Blue-headed Gilia (Gilia capatata)


Knob Peak, Bull of the Woods W.A., Oregon, 7/2012.

Skyrocket aka Scarlet Gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata)


Bull of the Woods W.A., Oregon, 7/2012.

This plant is rare for both its beauty and the fact that it is biennial, i.e.  it takes two years to produce flowers, and then dies.   Also known as foxfire, it is a hummingbird favorite.


Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium pulcherrimum)

Northern Loop Trail, Mt. Rainier N.P., 8/2011.

The rungs of the “ladder” are the  leaflets.  This flower is said to have an unpleasant odor.  Note the speedwell in the lower left.


Tufted Phlox (Phlox caespitosa)

Strawberry Mountains NWA.  8/2008.