A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.


Narrow-Leaved Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)


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…)

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.


Round-Headed Buckwheat (Eriogonum sphaerocephalum)


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…)

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…)

Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)

Hardy Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2015.

Hardy Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2015.

We see three species of wild allium with some regularity on hikes in the Columbia Gorge and Cascades (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…)

White Western Groundsel (Senecio integerrimus var. ochroleucus)

Starvation Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 5/2014.

Starvation Ridge Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 5/2014.

Varying in color from white to yellow, this single-stemmed plant concentrates alkaloids from the soil, causing it to be poisonous to cattle in its later stages.  Also known as Paleyellow Ragwort.


Kneeling Angelica (Angelica genuflexa)

Upper Latourell Falls, Columbia Gorge, OR, 8/2013.

Upper Latourell Falls, Columbia Gorge, OR, 8/2013.

This member of the parsley family is distinguishable from Gray’s Lovage and Cow Parsnip by its hearty stalks, saw-toothed leaves, and propensity for wetness.  This one seemed to be thriving in the misty spray of Upper Latourell Falls.

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum)

Mt. Hood W.A., OR, 7/2012.

Elizabeth Horn, in Wildflowers 1 The Cascades,  writes of the many ways Native Americans ate and used this member of the parsley family:


Gray’s Lovage (Ligusticum grayi)


Mt. Hood N.W.A., OR, 7/2012.


Broad-Leaved Arnica (Arnica latifolia)

Wind Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2015.

Wind Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 5/2015.

Arnicas can be distinguished from Groundsels (senecios) by their paired opposite leaves. (more…)

Black-tipped Groundsel (Senecio lugens)

Red Earth Trail, Banff N.P., Alberta, Canada, 7/2011.

According to Scotter & Flygare’s Wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies, the black-tipped bracts “were considered by the Inuit to be a sign of mourning for a band of unsuspecting Inuit massacred in 1771 by Indian warriors who accompanied the explorer Samuel Hearne on his expedition to the Arctic Coast.  Sir John Richardson first collected this plant near the massacre site, Bloody Falls, on the Coppermine River and named it lugens from the latin word ‘to mourn’.”

Sweet Coltsfoot (Petasites nivalis)



Yellow Aster Butte Trail, Mt. Baker Wilderness Area, WA, 7/2016.

Young leaves and flowers can be eaten raw.  Native Americans used the dried stems as a salt substitute. (more…)

Ranger’s Button (Sphenosciadium capitellatum)

Strawberry Mountains NWA. 8/2008.