Central Oregon Wildflowers

June 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm (Flower Photography, Landscape Photography, Oregon, Photography) (, , , , , , )

Long rayed groundsel - also called: Puget butterweed, Packera macounnii, Senecia macounnii, Macoun's groundsel. From the asteraceae family.

It may not feel like summer is swiftly approaching, but the wildflowers in Central Oregon don’t know it.  The wastes and the wildlands are putting on a show of understated beauty.  If you don’t know where to look, or if you aren’t paying close attention, you just might miss it altogether.  If you are watching closely, you are in for a treat as the desert wildlflowers slip into their spring colors.

Cusick's Monkeyflower - Mimulus cusikii

Some of the wildflowers are so small you are likely to step on them before you see them.  Cusick’s Monkeyflowers make up for their small stature with their brilliant colors.

Central Oregon wildflower White Tidy-tips, White layia, Layia glandulosa. Annual wildflower standing 5 to 40 cm tall with leaves 1 - 6 cm long. 3 lobed petals 4 - 15 mm long. Aster or sunflower family.

The Showy Townsend, or Townsend’s florifera is a low growing but prolific blooming wildflower dotting the Central Oregon desert floor in springtime.

Townsendia florifera or Showy Townsendia, in the Central Oregon high desert.

The wallflowers are in full bloom.  Their sweet scent is an added note to the fragrant perfume of the desert.

Central Oregon Wildflower - Western Wallflower, Erysimum capitatum (Erysimum asperum), Sand-dune Wallflower, Plains Wallflower.

Central Oregon Wildflower - Western Wallflower, Erysimum capitatum (Erysimum asperum), Sand-dune Wallflower, Plains Wallflower,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wild heliotrope are some of my favorites.  I am partial to purple though. 

Central Oregon wildflower - Phacelia linearis - Wild heliotrope - Threadleaf heliotrope - Scorpionweed

 

Wild heliotrope growing in the wastes of Central Oregon with a moss covered lava rock in the foreground and an out of focus old growth juniper in the background.

 

Some of the most interesting looking wildflowers in Central Oregon are the wild buckwheat.  Their spheric flower heads are made up of lots of little tiny individual flowers.

Top view of the blossoms of wild buckwheat, Cushion buckwheat, Eriogonum ovalifolium Nuttal var. purpureum, located in Central Oregon. Grows in soil pH 6.5 - 8. Needs 6" of water per year and a 12" soil depth.

Side view of the blossoms of wild buckwheat, Cushion buckwheat, Eriogonum ovalifolium Nuttal var. ovalifolium.

Wild buckwheat growing in Central Oregon

Happy yellow heads of wild buckwheat growing in the alkali soil of Oregon's high desert.

Update:  Thanks to the master gardeners at the OSU Extension in Deschutes County, the previously unidentified wildflowers in this post now have names.  

Astragalus filipes - Basalt milkvetch. Also called Threadstalk Milkvetch.

Here is another you may miss underfoot.  It is very low-growing, hugging the ground, and the flowers seem to bloom beneath the plant.

Astragalus purshii var. tinctus, also called Woollypod Milkvetch, Pursh's Milk-vetch. The leaves of the plant are woolly, and about the size of my smallest fingernail.

And who can forget Yarrow when photographing wildflowers.  This is another fascinating (albeit common) wildflower in Central Oregon.  The flower heads, like wild buckwheat, are comprised of lots of little individual flowers.

Top view of common Yarrow, Milfoil - Achillea millefolium, member of the aster family.

Side view of the Central Oregon wildflower, Yarrow - Achillea millefolium

Here is another interesting yet understated Central Oregon Wildflower that comes into bloom in June.

Central Oregon wildflower, Dusty Maiden or Hoary Chaenactis, Chaenactis douglasii, part of the Sunflower family, (Asteraceae).

Wildflower Oregon Sunshine - Eriophyllum lanatum

Wildflower Oregon Sunshine - Eriophyllum lanatum in front of wild buckwheat and purple Monkeyflowers in the background

Update:  Bachelor’s Buttons (blue cornflowers) in July grow in proliferation in vacant, grass-shot fields in Bend.

Bachelor's Button - Blue Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus

Update:  Here is a beauty I found at the end of July in Powell Butte.  The Mariposa Lily (also called Sego Lily) has suffered from overcollection or grazing, and can be quite difficult to find.  It is a graceful, large plant with one to three pale to dark lavender flowers.  The flowers themselves are quite striking, with three petals and three narrow, somewhat longer sepals.

Maroiposa Lily - Chalochortus macrocarpus

Update:  Here are a few shots of the same flower from beginning bloom in June to full bloom at the end of July, beginning of August.  It isn’t positively identified.  It may be a variety of Aster, but I am leaning toward a fleabane.  Possibly Long-leaf fleabane – Erigeron linearis or Erigeron filifolius.  If you know for sure, let me know.  The flowers are very tiny, about the size of my little fingernail.

The purple rays are just emerging from the yellow centers.

 

Yellow center before the purple rays emerge.

 

Mature flower in early August

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7 Comments

  1. Central Oregon Wildflowers (via Eponaleah’s Photoblography) « Eponaleah's Photoblography said,

    [...] It may not feel like summer is swiftly approaching, but the wildflowers in Central Oregon don't know it.  The wastes and the wildlands are putting on a show of understated beauty.  If you don't know where to look, or if you … Read More [...]

  2. Living above the Columbia « Matawana’s Weblog said,

    [...] Living above the Columbia While in Mosier we stayed at Andrew and Bennett’s house above the Columbia River.   From the house we could see the boats on the river and trains trundling up and down on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river.  The house was a perfect place to relax, get-together and enjoy the beauty and sunsets.  The following photos are all taken from around their home.  The tall grasses are mostly dried cornflowers (called bachelor’s button in the States) which flower profusely in July and surround the house in a sea of blue.  The wildflowers of Oregon are extraordinary – here are a few sites to give you an idea of them:  Oregon Wildflowers and Eponaleah’s Photobiography. [...]

  3. jee scapes said,

    Just happened upon this post while looking for PNW plant dichotomous keys. I was trying to find the scientific name for “yellow bells.” I enjoyed the pictures in this post…thanks for putting them up.
    Jon

  4. rafaflor said,

    thanks leah for these a bit different from the dog photography!

  5. Martin said,

    Thank you so much for these photos. Last weekend we visited the Oregon Badlands Wilderness for the first time, and saw all kinds of wildflowers in bloom that we’d never seen before (we’re from the wet side). It’s nice to find them identified in your blog.

  6. Marge Carlson said,

    Is there somewhere I send send a photo for you to identify a flower?

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