A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

July

Clustered Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum)

Weldon Wagon Wheel Trail, WA 5/2022.

We nearly passed up this rare orchid, well camouflaged within inches of the trail.  This single plant with a pair of intricate nodding slipper flowers was the prize of a blustery May hike on a flower covered ridge just north of the Columbia Gorge.  (more…)


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.

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Piper’s Bellflower (Campanula piperi)

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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…)


American Speedwell (Veronica americana)

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Devil’s Rest Trail, Columbia River Gorge, OR, 7/2020.

We often encounter the tiny four-petaled blue flowers of the Veronica genus on our hikes in a variety of settings. (more…)


Yellow Sand Verbena (Abronia latifolia)

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North Trail, Cape Lookout State Park, OR, 7/2020.

One of two species of sand verbena native and unique to the Pacific coast (the other is Pink Sand Verbena, A. umbellata), which blooms all summer and into the fall. (more…)


Stream Orchid (Epipactis gigantea)

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Along the Trask River, Tillamook County, OR, 7/2020.

Yay!  After spending years at the top of our most wanted list, we finally tracked down this supposedly common orchid, but only after nearly walking by large groups of them twice.  (more…)


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…)


Dusky Horkelia (Horkelia fusca)

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Eight Mile Creek Loop, Mt. Hood National Forest, OR, 6/2020.

This small and rather plain member of the rose family, also known as “Pink Pinwheels”, was prevalent in a small, sunny meadow near the trailhead on a recent hike on the east side of Mt. Hood.  (more…)


Narrow-Leaved Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)

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Rowena Plateau, Tom McCall Preserve, Columbia Gorge, OR, 7/2015

Milkweeds, genus Asclepias, are often plain, overlooked, and rarely appear in our wildflower reference guides, but A. fascicularis, in particular is critical to the survival of  Monarch butterflies! (more…)


Sticky Cinquefoil (Potentilla glandulosa)

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Badger Creek Wilderness, OR, 5/2016.

In the early 2000s, through DNA identification and global research advances, a few of the Cinquefoils, including this common lower elevation meadow flower, were moved from the Potentilla genus to the new Drymocallis genus. To date all three Drymocallis species’ share the trait of being  ‘protocarnivorous.’ (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…)


Roundleaf Alumroot (Heuchera Cylindrica)

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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…)


Idaho Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)

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Willow Creek Nature Preserve, Eugene, OR, 5/2016.

This is the most common of the bashful blue-eyed grasses we encounter, (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…)


Toothed Owl’s Clover (Orthocarpus cuspidatus)

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

At one point in the spectacular Hobart Bluff-Soda Mountain section of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, we found the trailside covered in these pretty Owl’s clovers we had never seen before.  (more…)


Farewell to Spring (Clarkia amoena)

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Tire Mountain, Willamette National Forest, OR, 7/2019.

Often seen growing amid browning grasses from drying soil, this lovely flower gets its common name from the fact that it appears as many spring blooms are dying back, often carpeting full hillsides.    (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…)


Bach’s Calicoflower (Downingia bacigalupii)

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Hyatt Lake Recreation Area, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, OR, 7/2019.

What a pleasant surprise to discover large patches of these tiny blue & yellow flowers in the dry outlet of Hyatt Lake, in Southern Oregon. (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…)


Scabland Penstemon (Penstemon deustus)

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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…)


Leatherleaf Saxifrage (Leptarrhena pyrolifolia)

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Bagley Creek, Mount Baker National Forest, WA, 7/2016.

We didn’t initial think this plant was a saxifrage because we mostly saw the red seed heads and stems, (more…)


Arrow-leaved Groundsel (Senecio triangularis)

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

One of the more common and easy to identify of the dizzying array of yellow composite flowers; we were surprised to find we hadn’t yet posted it.  (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…)


American Sawwort (Saussurea americana)

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Home Sweet Home, Olympic National Park, WA, 8/2018.

If ever one needs a reminder that flowers exist to attract pollinators rather than for  human enjoyment, look no further than the homely sawwort.  (more…)