A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

rocky slopes

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)

SONY DSC

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)

DSC02686.JPG

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

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


Mountain Sagewort (Artemesia norvegica)

DSC02477.JPG

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…)


Cardwell’s Penstemon (Penstemon cardwellii)

DSC00427.JPG

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…)


Thick-leaf Thelypody (Thelypodium laciniatum var. laciniatum)

DSC01888.JPG

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)

P7230104.JPG

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)

DSC02378.JPG

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…)


Scabland Penstemon (Penstemon deustus)

SONY DSC

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…)


Turkey Peas (Orogenia fusiformis)

IMG_5910 (2).jpg

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…)


Varied-leaf Collomia (Collomia heterophylla)

P6210556 (2).jpg

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…)


White-stemmed Frasera (Frasera albicaulis var. Columbiana)

img_5486

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)

SONY DSC

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

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


Washington Twinpod (Physaria alpestris)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

This uncommon, low-lying member of the mustard family, also known as bladderpod, is found in dry sandy soil.  (more…)


Spotted Saxifrage (Saxifraga bronchialis)

DSC03443 (4).jpg

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

This less-common saxifrage variety can be identified by its matted, basal, rosette-shaped leaves (shared with the Tolmiei species) and its upright, red stems, but mainly by the yellow, orange and red spots on its petals.  (more…)


Martindale’s Desert Parsley (Lomatium martindalei)

Silver Star Mountain, WA, 5/2015.

Silver Star Mountain, WA, 5/2015.

Although we’ve long enjoyed the “spring gold” dusting of these flowers across rocky landscapes in the early spring, (more…)


Kellogg’s Monkeyflower (Diplacus kelloggii)

P4300495 (2).jpg

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

What a treat to discover these tiny, and possibly somewhat rare, monkeyflowers on the dry grassy slopes among the blooming buckbrush and long-needled ponderosa pines on a recent hike in Southern Oregon!  (more…)


Siskiyou Mat aka Dwarf Ceanothus (Ceanothus pumilus)

IMG_7951.JPG

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…)


Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana)

IMG_8021 (2)

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…)


Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)

Hardy Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2015.

Hardy Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2015.

We see three species of wild allium with some regularity on hikes in the Columbia Gorge and Cascades (more…)


Elegant Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium elegans)

DSC04826 (2).jpg

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…)


Tufted Saxifrage (Saxifraga caespitosa)

DSC04852.JPG

Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, 7/2017.

Nearly twenty species of saxifraga occur in the pacific northwest, and up until now, we’ve only posted three!   (more…)


Elkhorns Clarkia (Clarkia pulchella)

IMG_5761.JPG

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…)


Cutleaf Fleabane (Erigeron compositus)

IMG_6209.JPG

Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, WA, 7/2017.

These pretty daisies were among many flowers blooming on Marmot Pass during our July visit. (more…)