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…)
“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…)
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…)
Although the flowers were quite small (less than 0.5 inches in diameter), we still believe the Nemophila we found growing among the grasses near the seasonal vernal pools on top of Table Rock a few weeks back are of the fairly common menziesii species (more…)
We tend to see three different species of yellow monkey flower in the Cascades and the Columbia River gorge (more…)
It’s hard to believe that this plant was unknown until Portland botanist Lilla Leach and her husband discovered it in 1930 (more…)
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…)
Early spring Columbia Gorge hikers are treated to several varieties of lomatium, commonly known as desert parsley (more…)
This prevalent plant’s common name refers to its alleged nourishment for miners living in the wilds, far from civilization. (more…)
Not sure why both the genus name and the common name refer to a dog’s tongue (the leaves?). (more…)
There are nine species in the Synthyris genus. Four appear in the Pacific Northwest. Only two appear in the Columbia Gorge (more…)
This non-native member of the mustard family appears sporadically across the U.S., but more often in Oregon and Washington. (more…)
Also known as Sand Clover, it was formerly named tridentatum. Named after Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765-1812), a German botanist.
This subspecies, stellata is endemic to the Columbia Gorge, and is one of the first flowers to bloom there every year. A very similar relative missurica, also called “Mountain Kittentails” and “Tailed Kittentails”, is found in Northeast Oregon, Southeast Washington, and Northwest Idaho. (more…)
According to Ronald Taylor’s Sagebrush Country, the Latin fritillaria comes from fritill, which is Latin for “dice box” (more…)
We’ve looked high and low for this unusual flower, and were ecstatic when we finally found a single specimen right where Russ Jolley (Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge) said it would be, along the short trail to Starvation Creek Falls in early April, just a few steps from the parking lot. (more…)
A member of the Iris family, this is closely related to Blue-Eyed Grass. (more…)
The nickname comes from the flower head’s resemblance to the curled tuning head of a violin. The bristle-like hairs that cover this plant can irritate the skin. The tiny black nuts that are produced by each flower are said to be poisonous to cattle.
These lovely, tiny flowers are barely over an inch or two from the ground. (more…)
One book nicknames this “Bi-colored Cluster Lily,” and several others refer to it as “Howell’s Brodiaea.” We’re not savvy enough to know what distinguishes Brodiaea from Triteleia, so we went with the designation of Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, the winner of the American Horticultural Society Book Award, figuring they know what’s up.
The latin congesta refers to the ‘crowded’ head of tiny pink flowers. (more…)