Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 18, 2017

Columbia River Gorge Wildflower Reports 4/16/17 – updated

Oregon Wildflowers posted 4 new reports today for the Columbia River Gorge

Columbia Hills/The Dalles Mountain Ranch 4/16/17  This report is for the lower Crawford Oaks) hiking loop. Two additional notes if you are planning to visit next weekend: (1) Saturday 4/22 will be a free parking day (no Discovery Pass needed), and (2) The Dalles Mountain Road leading to the upper trailhead will be CLOSED on the morning of Sunday 4/23.

The Northwest Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) looks good, though it is still a week or two away from its peak. There is also plenty of Columbia Gorge Lupine (Lupinus latifolius var. thompsonianii) although most of it is still in bud — that should start blooming over the next several weeks assuming that the weather is warm.

Beyond those two, the most profuse wildflower by far is the Barestem Desert Parsley (Lomatium nudicaule), which is blooming nearly everywhere. Also blooming are: Nine-Leaf Desert Parsley especially on the southern section of the Vista Loop, small-flowered blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Smooth Prairie Star (Lithophragma glabrum), Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa), and Northwestern Saxifrage (Saxifraga integrifolia). There are still some Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule) in the southern half of the loop, though they are mostly finished for the season.

Mosier Pleateau 4/15/17 The wildflowers at Mosier Plateau look good now, and should improve during the next several weeks as the Northwest Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) reaches its peak. Flowers currently blooming include: Prairie Star (Lithophragma parviflorum), Fiddleneck (Amsinckia sp.), Pungent Desert Parsley (Lomatium grayi) especially on the slopes next to the creek, Slender Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys tenellus) which is especially profuse along the switchbacks, Nuttall`s Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Nine-Leaf Desert Parsley (Lomatium triternatum), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis),

Small-Flowered Blue-Eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Northwestern Saxifrage (Saxifraga integrifolia), Fringe Pod (Thysanocarpus curvipes), Miniature Lupine (Lupinus bicolor), Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum), Miner`s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata), Big-Head Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum), Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora), Bigroot (Marah oreganus), Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon sp.), and Midget Phlox (Phlox gracilis). There are still a few Grass Widow (Olsynium douglasii) though they are mostly finished for the season.

Catherine Creek 4/15/17 This report is for the Arch Loop.

The fields next to the parking area are covered by Meadow Death-camas (Zigadenus venenosus) and Western saxifrage (Saxifraga occidentalis). There are many other species in bloom as well: Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule) especially next to the road descending to the creek, Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Bicolor Lupine (Lupinus bicolor), Salt-and-pepper (Lomatium piperi), False Agoseris (Nothocalais troximoides), Small-flowered blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Smooth prairie star (Lithophragma glabrum), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), Miner`s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), Ball-head Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum capitatum v. thompsonii), Columbia Desert Parsley (Lomatium columbianum), Pungent Desert Parsley (Lomatium grayi), Nine-Leaf Desert Parsley (Lomatium triternatum var. triternatum), and Bare-Stem Desert Parsley (Lomatium nudicaule). Poet`s Shooting Star (Dodecatheon poeticum), Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora), and Rosy Plectritis (Plectritis congesta) are blooming above the arch.

Dutchman`s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) are still blooming though well past peak. There are still a few Yellow Bells (Fritillaria pudica) though these are mostly finished for the season. Big-Head Clover (Trifolium macrocephalum) has not started yet.

Many Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) rosettes are visible on rocky areas, though their blooms are probably 2-3 weeks away. Common Camas (Camassia quamash) is starting to open, especially above the arch, and should look great over the next several weeks.

Memaloose Hills 4/15/17 The Northwestern Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) is profuse on the slopes of Chatfield Hill and Marsh Hill. It should reach its peak within the next two weeks depending upon the weather. Also blooming are: profuse amounts of Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora) and Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), Harsh Paintbrush (Castilleja hispida), Upland Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis var. occidentalis), Smooth Prairie Star (Lithophragma glabra), Northwestern Saxifrage (Saxifraga integrifolia), Miners Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), Manroot (Marah oreganus), Ball-Head Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum capitatum var. thompsonii), Naked Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora), Barestem Desert Parsley (Lomatium nudicaule), Suksdorf`s Desert Parsley (Lomatium suksdorfii), scattered Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon sp.), Big-head clover (Trifolium macrocephalum), and occasional Meadow Death Camas (Zigadenus venenosus).

The Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria affinis) profusion as you descend toward the stream has not yet opened, but should start blooming within the next week.

There are a few remaining Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) and Yellow Bell (Fritillaria pudica), but these are mostly finished for the season.

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