A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Washington

Clustered Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium fasciculatum)

Weldon Wagon Wheel Trail, WA 5/2022.

We nearly passed up this rare orchid, well camouflaged within inches of the trail.  This single plant with a pair of intricate nodding slipper flowers was the prize of a blustery May hike on a flower covered ridge just north of the Columbia Gorge.  (more…)


Olympic Mountain Aster (Aster paucicapitatus)

Olympic National Forest, WA 8/2020.

Aster is Greek for “star”. Fields of these mixed with purple Thistles (Cirsium edule) graced our hike up Mt. Ellinor this summer, where the flowers, not the views (hidden by fog), were the main event.

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Piper’s Bellflower (Campanula piperi)

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Olympic National Forest, WA, 8/2020.

A long car ride followed by a steep and crowded trail were suddenly made worthwhile when we spotted these endemic bellflowers growing in-between the rocks (more…)


Elmera (Elmera racemosa)

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

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


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…)


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…)


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…)


Leatherleaf Saxifrage (Leptarrhena pyrolifolia)

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Bagley Creek, Mount Baker National Forest, WA, 7/2016.

We didn’t initial think this plant was a saxifrage because we mostly saw the red seed heads and stems, (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…)


Varied-leaf Collomia (Collomia heterophylla)

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Glacier Lake Trail, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot NF, WA, 6/2018.

The Varied-leaf Collomia is a much smaller sibling to the previously-posted Grandiflora collomia. Although their tiny sweet pink flowers (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…)


American Sawwort (Saussurea americana)

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Home Sweet Home, Olympic National Park, WA, 8/2018.

If ever one needs a reminder that flowers exist to attract pollinators rather than for  human enjoyment, look no further than the homely sawwort.  (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…)


Western False Asphodel (Tofieldia glutinosa)

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Along the banks of Royal Lake, Olympic N.P., WA, 7/2016.

We’ve probably mistaken these for Death Camas, Bistort, or Valerian on many occasions. (more…)


Clasping Leaf Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius)

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Royal Basin trail, Olympic National Park, 7/2016.

This is the most common of the 3 twisted-stalks in our region.  (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…)