Saturday, December 25, 2010

False Hellebore, Veratrum californicum

While hiking near the top of Bells Mountain in SW Washington, I came upon this nearly 6 foot tall plant growing along a small spring. Hellebore is poisonous to cattle, sheep, goats, and other animals that graze this plant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Little Salmon Creek, in SW Washington, is shown flowing from left to right underneath an over hanging stream bank. In warmer weather springs drip from the overhang into the creek, but during the recent freezing weather foot long icicles form.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Carbon Antlers, Xylaria hypoxylon

This unusual plant (fungus) grows up through the leaf litter on the forest floor in the Fall and is about 2" tall.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Western Starflower, Trientalis latifolia

Also called Indian Potato for its large tubers, this specimen was found growing along a logging road in SW Washington.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Angled Bitter-Cress, Cardamine angulata

Typically found along stream-banks, Angled Bitter-Cress is a common native perennial. These flowers were photographed along the banks of Little Salmon Creek in SW Washington.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vine Maple, Acer circinatum

Here is a picture of a Vine Maple flower bud and leaves that are in the process of unfurling:

Here is a picture taken later in the season where the flowers are fully open:

And the end result are these double-winged seeds:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kinnikinnick, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dried Kinnickinnick leaves were used in smoking mixtures by native Americans. Pink flowers in early Summer

give way to what look like miniature apples:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bull Thistle, Cirsium vulgare

Immature flower:

Armed with spikes, this plant is one to be avoided when hiking.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tiger Lily, Lilium columbianum

I couldn't resist posting another picture of this beautiful flower.

Everlasting Pea, Lathyrus latifolius

This non-native member of the Pea family was found growing along the Trask River in NW Oregon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tansy Ragwort, Senecio jacobaea

This introduced weed is toxic to livestock and commonly found West of the Cascades.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Red Clover, Trifolium pratense

This non-native perennial was found growing along a logging road in SW Washington.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red Columbine, Aquilegia formosa

I found this flower along a path in Lucia Falls County Park, along the East Fork of the Lewis River, in Southwest Washington. Indians had several medicinal uses for this plant.

Flower bud:

6-5-14 Update: Found a red one today

6-7-16 update: Last year I transplanted this specimen and it finally bloomed this year

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indian-Pipe, Monotropa uniflora

Definitely not a colorful resident of the forest floor, Indian Pipe nevertheless has a graceful appearance. It lacks chlorophyll and receives its nutrition via fungi attached to the roots of coniferous trees.

7-22-2012 update:  This year, possibly due to the wet Spring we had, the Indian Pipe  population really exploded.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

American Speedwell, Veronica americana (ex Mystery blue flower)

Thanks to deejuas in Melbourne, Australia via for the plant ID. These flowers are growing along a gravel road in SW Washington and are about 1/4" in diameter

Mountain Golden-Pea, Thermopsis montana

I found this nonnative member of the Pea family along a logging road in SW Washington.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pacific Tree Frog, Hyla regilla

While looking for flowers to photograph, my wife found this 1" frog resting on a Rhododendron leaf about 200 feet from the nearest water.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Orange Honeysuckle, Lonicera ciliosa

This climbing vine has trumpet shaped flowers that are visited by Hummingbirds.

Closeup of a group of flowers

Side-view of buds that will be opening soon.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wild Ginger, Asarum caudatum

This plant has unique flowers and lives in shady, moist areas.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

White Clover, Trifolium repens

The leaves and flowers of this plant are favorites of the wild rabbits in the area.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Leafy Mitrewort, Mitella caulescens

Growing in moist shady forests, this Mitrewort flowers from the top down. There was a slight breeze when I took the picture this morning and I was concentrating on getting the flowers in focus and didn't notice the aphid until afterward.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Common Red Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

I found this attractive native perennial growing on Spotted Deer Mountain in SW Washington.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Early Blue Violet, Viola adunca

Growing wild in our front yard, these pretty flowers are usually eaten by rabbits before I can take a photo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Redwood Sorrel, Oxalis oregana

I found this small flower peeking out from adjacent leaves along Little Salmon Creek in SW Washington
Green carpet of sorrel leaves

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Salmon Berry, Rubus spectabilis

A common native perennial with flowers that open early in Spring and then give way to edible berries.

A rare double that I found growing along the East Fork of the Lewis River in SW Washington.

Fully ripe berry.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Purple deadnettle, Lamium purpureum

This annual member of the mint family has reddish leaves later in the season. The picture below was taken in January, 2010.

Same plant, picture taken February 28, 2010, shows attractive flowers.

Flower closeup:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bird's Nest Fungus, Nidula niveo-tomentosa

I found this odd, 1/4" diameter, fungus growing on a 4-foot diameter log that had been down for a long time - it was covered in Pixie Cup Lichens. In Fall, Bird's Nest Fungi have spores inside the urn shaped fruiting body that resemble eggs in a nest. Unfortunately, it was too late in the season to photograph the spores.

Another empty "nest":

January 14, 2012 update
I finally found a nest with some eggs residing on a 1" diameter dead Elderberry branch: