A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

East of Cascades

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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


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…)


Northern Gentian (Gentianella amarella)

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Horseshoe Basin, Pasayten Wilderness, WA, 7/2016.

In Washington’s Mt. Baker area, we stumbled upon this gentian, a less common variety within the pacific northwest (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…)


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…)


Monument Plant (Frasera speciosa)

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Burnt Mountain Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness Area, WA 6/2018.

Hiking along a ridge in Washington’s central Cascades, we were surprised to find a group of these large, unusual looking plants (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…)


Washington Twinpod (Physaria alpestris)

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Burnt Mountain Trail, William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA 6/2018.

This uncommon, low-lying member of the mustard family, also known as bladderpod, is found in dry sandy soil.  (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…)


Nuttall’s Linanthus (Linanthus nuttallii)

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South Puyallup Trail, Mt. Rainier N.P. 7/2015.

This fragrant phlox relative, sporting distinctive needle-like leaves, appears to be relatively common in alpine and subalpine areas in much of the western U.S.  (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…)


Diamond Clarkia (Clarkia rhomboidea)

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Tygh Creek Trail, Badger Creek Wilderness Area, OR, 6/2017

The Diamond or Common clarkia, showed up near its close relative the Elkhorns Clarkia,

(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…)