A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Southern Oregon / Northern California

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…)


Mountain Sagewort (Artemesia norvegica)

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Tatoosh Ridge Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA, 7/2020.

These Mountain Sageworts were mixed into the incredible flower fields we found on Tatoosh Ridge south of Mt. Rainier.  (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…)


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…)


Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla)

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Three Corner Rock Trail, Skamania County, WA, 5/2020.

It’s nearly impossible to hike in the Cascades without recognizing large drifts of this common plant in the understory, but nearly as rare is seeing it in bloom.  (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…)


Oregon Geranium (Geranium Oreganum)

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

We found these large purple flowers in alluring sun-spotted drifts while hiking this summer in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the Pacific Crest Trail.  (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…)


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…)


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…)


Mountain Coyote Mint (Monardella odoratissima)

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

Apparently David Douglas found this quite lovely member of the mint family while botanizing the upper reaches of the Columbia River in the 1820s (more…)


Henderson’s Stars (Triteleia hendersonii)

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

We were excited to find this dramatically-colored flower in a recent trip to the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon.

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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…)


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…)