A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Columbia Gorge East

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…)


Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa)

Dalles Mountain Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Dalles Mountain Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2014.

Unlike the phlox we commonly see carpeting gravelly windswept mountain passes, the p. speciosa variety is a taller plant found in open woods and meadows at low elevation , often mixed with other grassland flowers. (more…)


Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

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Weldon Wagon Road Trail, Klickitat County, WA .5/2020.

This native flowering plant is one we often see on spring hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, (more…)


Thick-leaf Thelypody (Thelypodium laciniatum var. laciniatum)

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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)

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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…)


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…)


Turkey Peas (Orogenia fusiformis)

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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…)


Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana)

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Willow Creek Natural Area, Eugene, OR, 5/2016.

For Valentine’s Day, we’re posting our first of several native roses from our region, (more…)


White-stemmed Frasera (Frasera albicaulis var. Columbiana)

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Major Creek Road, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2017.

This attractive member of the gentian family is also sometimes called Elkweed. (more…)


Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

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Mirror Lake, Rooster Rock State Park, OR, 7/2015.

The big-heads of this aster family member can be dried, powdered and  used as snuff, (more…)


Round-Headed Buckwheat (Eriogonum sphaerocephalum)

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Umtanum Creek Recreation Area, Yakima River Canyon, WA, 6/2018.

We encountered this bright yellow buckwheat shrub dotting the pale dry sagebrush steppe in the Yakima River Valley in early summer.  (more…)


Fuzzy-tongue Penstemon (Penstemon eriantherus v. argillosus)

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Iron Mountain, Willamette National Forest, OR, 6/2016.

These fuzzy-tongue penstemon, display amazing markings to guide pollinators to their nectar.  (more…)


Sagebrush Mariposa Lily (Calochortus macrocarpus)

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Umtanum Ridge Trail, Yakima River Canyon (BLM), WA 6/2018.

The exquisite sagebrush mariposa lily, the largest in size of the many calochortus, (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…)


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…)


Common Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)

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Horsethief Lake, Columbia Hills State Park, WA. 5/2017.

While this plant is widespread and native to much of the western U.S., we still find ourselves taken with the rustic beauty of the flowers (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…)


Gray Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa)

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Sheep Rock Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, OR, 10/2017.

Golden rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) framed the arid piñon-juniper desertscape in our recent fall trip to Eastern Oregon.   We saw them blooming everywhere across the rolling hills near the John Day Fossil Beds.  They look similar to sagebrush (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…)


Gairdner’s Penstemon (Penstemon gairdneri)

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Rattlesnake Dance Trail, Yakima Canyon, WA.  5/2017

We found these lovely, endemic penstemons on an impromptu hike just south of Ellensburg, WA, on our way back to Portland from Leavenworth this past spring. (more…)


Hoary False Yarrow (Chaenactis douglasii)

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Horsethief Lake, Columbia Hills State Park, WA. 5/2017.

Also known as Douglas’ dusty maidens and Hoary pincushion, this white flower with woolly soft silvery leaves blends into the background.   (more…)


Violet Suksdorfia (Suksdorfia violacea)

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Castle Rock Trail, Tumwater Canyon, WA.  5/2017

Ran across this single specimen of an uncommon late-spring flower we’d spent days looking for in the Columbia Gorge, (more…)