A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

shaded forests

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…)


Oregon Geranium (Geranium Oreganum)

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Pacific Crest Trail, Hobart Bluff, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, OR, 7/2019.

We found these large purple flowers in alluring sun-spotted drifts while hiking this summer in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the Pacific Crest Trail.  (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…)


Striped Coralroot (Corallorhiza striata)

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Hamilton Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2015.

We find coral roots, except for this striped species, faithful companions that reward those that closely scan the pine-needle  floors throughout the wilderness areas of the Pacific 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…)


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…)


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 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…)


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…)


Pacific Ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus)

Wahclella Falls Trail (Tanner Creek), Columbia Gorge, OR,

Wahclella Falls Trail (Tanner Creek), Columbia Gorge, OR, 5/2015.

This flowering shrub is native to the northwest coast and Cascades (more…)


Chickweed Monkeyflower (Mimulus alsinoides)

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Britt Woods, Jacksonville, OR. 3/2018.

We tend to see three different species of yellow monkey flower in the Cascades and the Columbia River gorge (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…)


Northwestern Twayblade (Listera caurina)

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Larch Mountain, Columbia Gorge, OR, 6/2016.

Although Twayblades are not uncommon (especially for an orchid), (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…)


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…)


Oregon Anemone (Anemone oregana)

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Crescent Mountain Trail, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2017.

Thanks to Ross & Chambers’ classic Wildflowers of the Western Cascades (a flora of Iron Mountain which, coincidentally, is just a few miles west on Oregon Highway 20 from where these pictures were taken), we now can differentiate Anemone oregana from the very similar lyallii. (more…)


Western Spring Beauty (Claytonia lanceolata)

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

Spring Beauties are part of a group of plants sometimes called “spring ephemerals”, also including Blue-Eyed Grass, that harness the insulating properties of winter snowfall to send a shoot up from their underground bulb through the cold wet soil, during winter (more…)


Tweedy’s Lewisia (Lewisia tweedyi)

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Chiwaukum Creek Trail, Wenatchee NF, WA, 5/2017.

The largest member of the Lewisia family grows at low and mid-elevations almost exclusively in the Wenatchee Mountains in central Washington.  Frank Tweedy, a botanist with the US Geological Survey stumbled upon this beauty while working with the Northern Pacific Railway in 1882.   (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…)


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…)