A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

dry open woods

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…)


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…)


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…)


Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana)

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Willow Creek Natural Area, Eugene, OR, 5/2016.

For Valentine’s Day, we’re posting our first of several native roses from our region, (more…)


California Groundcone (Boschniakia strobilacea)

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Jacksonville Cemetery, Jacksonville, OR, 4/2018.

We found this parasitic, purple-hued “flower” in a couple wooded locations in an early southern Oregon trip, (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…)


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…)


Fuzzy-tongue Penstemon (Penstemon eriantherus v. argillosus)

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Iron Mountain, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2016.

These fuzzy-tongue penstemon, display amazing markings to guide pollinators to their nectar.  (more…)


Monument Plant (Frasera speciosa)

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Burnt Mountain Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness Area, WA 6/2018.

Hiking along a ridge in Washington’s central Cascades, we were surprised to find a group of these large, unusual looking plants (more…)


Siskiyou Mat aka Dwarf Ceanothus (Ceanothus pumilus)

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Illinois River Trail, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, OR, 3/2018.

This is one of two similar ceanothus ground covers whose rugged foliage set it apart from the larger more common trailside shrubs in the buckthorn family, (more…)


Oregon Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum)

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Rim Trail, Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Blooming earlier, and at lower elevations than the similar Avalanche Lily, and Glacier Lily, these are recognizable by their lovely, “mottled” leaves with streaks of white, lighter green or even brown (seen below).  (more…)


Nuttall’s Linanthus (Linanthus nuttallii)

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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…)


Varileaf Phacelia (Phacelia heterophylla)

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Horse Rock Ridge Trail, OR, 6/2016.

We found this Varileaf phacelia specimen at the lower edge of its elevation range (more…)


Thin-petal Larkspur (Delphinium lineapetalum)

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Leavenworth Ski Hill, Wenatchee National Forest, 5/2017.

The monkshood we posted recently was named Aconitum delphinifolium, as its leaves resembled that of a delphinium, or Larkspur.  (more…)


Tall Silvercrown (Luina nardosmia)

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Leavenworth Ski Hill, Leavenworth, WA, 5/2017.

Variously called Luina or Cacaliopsis, this waist-high plain-looking plant’s  leaves resemble those of Coltsfoot, with flowers that look somewhat like a Rainiera. Upon close inspection, (more…)


Northern Groundcone (Boschniakia rossica)

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Yakutania Point Trail, Skagway, AK, 7/2017.

We found this odd non-green plant in a couple locations in flood-prone Cottonwood-Alder forests outside of Skagway, Alaska.   (more…)


Elkhorns Clarkia (Clarkia pulchella)

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Tygh Creek Trail, Badger Creek Wilderness, OR, 6/2017.

After seeing these beauties in books (the latin Pulchella  means beautiful), we’d long dreamed of finding them in the wild.   (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…)


Small-flowered Godetia (Clarkia purpurea)

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

Looking very much like its better know relative Farewell-to-spring (Clarkia amoena), (more…)


Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor)

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Hamilton Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA 6/2016.

This flowering shrub, a mainstay along roads and trailsides throughout the west, begins blooming in June at lower elevations (like our photos here) and peaks in July and August at higher elevations.   (more…)


Antelope Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata)

Horsethief Butte, Columbia Hills State Park, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Horsethief Butte, Columbia Hills State Park, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Also known as Antelope Bush, this shrub puts on quite a show in the late spring.  (more…)


Mountain Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium montanum)

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

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

This rare orchid is a special treat if you can find it. (more…)


Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea)

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

Look closely for these tiny flowers, but don’t expect to find any leaves.   (more…)


Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)

Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

Rowena Plateau, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

If you’re seeing larkspur now (early spring) in the Northwest, chances are that it’s this variety.  Also called “Common Larkspur”. (more…)