A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

April

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…)


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…)


Kellogg’s Monkeyflower (Diplacus kelloggii)

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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…)


Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii)

 

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Lower Table Rock, BLM Medford district, Oregon, 4/2018.

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…)


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…)


Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana)

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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…)


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…)


Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum)

 

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Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail, WA, 4/2016.

Early spring Columbia Gorge hikers are treated to several varieties of lomatium, commonly known as desert parsley (more…)


Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

Bridalveil Falls State Park, Columbia Gorge, OR, 4/2015.

Bridalveil Falls State Park, Columbia Gorge, OR, 4/2015.

This prevalent plant’s common name refers to its alleged nourishment for miners living in the wilds, far from civilization. (more…)


Great Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum grande)

Mitchell Point Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

Mitchell Point Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 3/2015.

Not sure why both the genus name and the common name refer to a dog’s tongue (the leaves?). (more…)


Snow Queen (Synthyris reniformis)

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

There are nine species in the Synthyris genus.  Four appear in the Pacific Northwest.  Only two appear in the Columbia Gorge (more…)


Honesty (Lunaria annua)

Wahclella Falls Trail (Tanner Creek), Columbia Gorge, OR, 4/2014.

Wahclella Falls Trail (Tanner Creek), Columbia Gorge, OR, 5/2014.

This non-native member of the mustard family appears sporadically across the U.S., but more often in Oregon and Washington.  (more…)


Tomcat Clover (Trifolium willdenovii)

Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA. 4/2013.

Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA. 4/2013.

Also known as Sand Clover, it was formerly named  tridentatum.  Named after Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765-1812), a German botanist.


Red Bells (Fritillaria recurva)

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

Recognizably similar to its relatives in the Fritillaria  family, Checker Lily and Yellow Bells, (more…)


Columbia Kittentails (Synthyris stellata)

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McCord Creek Falls Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 4/2014.

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…)


Fairy Lanterns (Disporum smithii)

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Sometimes called Smith’s Fairy Bells, these are closely related to Hooker’s Fairy Bells(more…)


Yellow Bells (Fritillaria pudica)

Seven-mile Hill, Columbia Gorge, OR, 2/2015.

Seven-mile Hill, Columbia Gorge, OR, 2/2015.

 

According to Ronald Taylor’s Sagebrush Country, the Latin fritillaria comes from fritill, which is Latin for “dice box” (more…)


Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

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Starvation Creek Falls trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 4/2014.

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…)


Grass Widow (Sisyrinchium douglasii var. douglasii)

Coyete Wall Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 3/2014.

Coyote Wall Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 3/2014.

A member of the Iris family, this is closely related to Blue-Eyed Grass.  (more…)


Small-flowered Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii)

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Labyrinth Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA 6/2013.

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.

(more…)


Baby Stars (Linanthus bicolor)

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

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


Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

Beacon Rock, Columbia Gorge, OR  4/2012.

Beacon Rock, Columbia Gorge, WA  4/2012.

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Howell’s Triteleia (Triteleia grandiflora var. howellii)

4/2013. Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA.

4/2013. Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA.

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.

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Rosy Plectritus (Plectritus congesta)

Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA. 4/2013.

Catherine Creek Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA. 4/2013.

The latin congesta refers to the ‘crowded’ head of tiny pink flowers.  (more…)