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.
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.
The Showy Townsend, or Townsend’s florifera is a low growing but prolific blooming wildflower dotting the Central Oregon desert floor in springtime.
The wallflowers are in full bloom. Their sweet scent is an added note to the fragrant perfume of the desert.
The wild heliotrope are some of my favorites. I am partial to purple though.
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.
Update: Thanks to the master gardeners at the OSU Extension in Deschutes County, the previously unidentified wildflowers in this post now have names.
Here is another you may miss underfoot. It is very low-growing, hugging the ground, and the flowers seem to bloom beneath the plant.
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.
Here is another interesting yet understated Central Oregon Wildflower that comes into bloom in June.
Update: Bachelor’s Buttons (blue cornflowers) in July grow in proliferation in vacant, grass-shot fields in Bend.
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.
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.