A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

raceme

Elmera (Elmera racemosa)

DSC02686.JPG

Mt. Ellinor trail, Olympic National Forest, WA, 8/2020.

We often see these spikes of cream-colored bells on rocky peaks and ridges.  (more…)


Mountain Sagewort (Artemesia norvegica)

DSC02477.JPG

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…)


Thick-leaf Thelypody (Thelypodium laciniatum var. laciniatum)

DSC01888.JPG

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…)


Roundleaf Alumroot (Heuchera Cylindrica)

DSC02378.JPG

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…)


Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia)

SONY DSC

South Puyallup Trail, Mt Rainier National Park, WA, 7/2015.

This member of the orchid family is common in conifer woodlands across the west and northwest.  (more…)


Western Meadowrue (Thalictrum occidentale)

IMG_3186.JPG

Upper Royal Basin, Olympic National Park, WA, 7/2016.

In moist meadows or forests you will often see these odd looking plants.  (more…)


Star-Flowered Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina stellata)

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Silver Falls State Park, OR, 5/2014.

Also called Star-Flowered False Solomon’s Seal, and Starry Solomon’s Plume.   (more…)


Brewer’s Mitrewort (Mitella breweri)

Inlet of "Big" Cougar Lake,  William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

Inlet of “Big” Cougar Lake, William O. Douglas Wilderness, WA, 7/2014.

The name has us thinking of mitrewort beer, but it’s actually named after William Henry Brewer (1828-1910), a prestigious botanist who explored California and the northwest, and has his name on several flowers.   (more…)


False Lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum)

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2014.

The parallel-veined, heart-shaped leaves are immediately recognized by anyone who has spent time in northwest woodlands.   (more…)


Youth-on-age (Tolmiea menziesii)

Cascade Head Nature Preserve, OR, 4/2014.

Cascade Head Nature Preserve, OR, 4/2014.

This odd-looking member of the saxifrage family occurs almost exclusively in the western portion of the Northwest U.S. and Canada.  (more…)


Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)

Dog Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2013.

Dog Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2013.

While it can be found inland, as above, this plant, along with Youth-on-Age, is one of the only saxifrages one sees on coastal hikes. (more…)


Bronze Bells (Stenanthium occidentale)

Near Easy Pass, North Cascades NP, WA 8/2012.

Near Easy Pass, North Cascades NP, WA 8/2012.

This uncommon (and uncommonly modest) lily has a nodding raceme of bells rising from grassy onion-like leaves. (more…)


Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea)

Fisher Creek Trail, North Cascades N.P. , WA, 8/2012.

Many urn-shaped flowers filled with seeds hang like pendants off a long raceme in this showy saprophyte (a name for plants that derive their nourishment from decaying plant material).  (more…)


Common Camas (Camassia quamash)

Lacamas County Park, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2015.

Lacamas County Park, Columbia Gorge, WA, 4/2015.

The edible root of this spring flowering plant has a rich history.  Easily confused with the poisonous Death Camas once the flowers are gone, as the rest of the plants are nearly identical and the two often grow in the same areas.   Native Americans are thought to have weeded the Death Camas from large fields during flowering so that they could later harvest the edible camas without worry. (more…)


Foam Flower (Tiarella unifoliata)

Fisher Creek trail, North Cascades N.P., WA, 8/2012.

(more…)


Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)

Five Mile Camp, North Cascades N.P., 8/2012.

(more…)


Beargrass aka Indian Basket Grass (Xerophyllum tenax)

Mount Hood NF, OR, 7/2010.

As the alternate name implies, Native Americans used this plant to construct baskets, hats and cooking pots.  The plant was so important to them that it was used in trade. (more…)


Elephant Head (Pedicularis groenlandica)

Cameron Basin, Olympic NP, WA, 8/2010.

This plant likes the same marshy meadows that mosquitoes love, and it’s rare to see it without hearing their annoying buzz.  The Latin would have one believe that it is prevalent in Greenland.

(more…)