Oxeye Daisy, Blue-Eyed Grass, Red Clover, Yellow Oxalis, Farewell-to-Spring
While hiking and photographing the dramatic waterfalls within Silver Creek State Park, I was fortunate enough to discover the "Deer Orchid." Finding this little flower began a new goal to photograph the many Northwest wildflowers...the flowers I have missed along my many hiking adventures. This BLOG entry shares just a "petal" of what I discovered.
(I document the flower's location as to where I photographed it. These locations are not the only places where the flower may grow.)
LET'S GET SIMPLY WILD
Shore blue-eyed grass
orange jewelweed, common jewelweed, spotted jewelweed, spotted touch-me-not
Warning: Berries can be toxic to humans, especially children, if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size.
The ripe fruits, when touched, suddenly burst open (hence impatiens, meaning 'impatient'). The phrase 'touch-me-not' is in reference to the spoken words of the risen Christ to Mary Magdalene, in the Bible - Luke 20:17.
Mission Bells - Checker Lily
(Fritillaria lanceolata - Fritillaria affinis)
The Pink Sand Verbena, was declared extinct in Washington and British Columbia for several years but has been re-discovered on a beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada in 2001...yet did not grow in 2002. Small spotting's of the plant has been documented in Washington, but there has been no yearly successes. Pink Sand Verbena is listed as an endangered species by the State of Oregon and is considered a Species of Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Historically, this species was known from beaches along the Pacific Coast from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to northern California. Invasion by introduced European beach grass, the disturbance by off-road vehicles, and encroaching beachfront developments have all contributed to the steep decline in the numbers of Pink Sand Verbena plant clusters.There are currently only about ten cluster populations of Pink Sand Verbena in Oregon. The plant found at "Dog Beach" in Port Orford Oregon, was planted by man.
In the photo to the (right), taken at "Dog Beach," my hiking buddies are completely oblivious to the small Pink Sand Verbena growing so close on the main trail to the beach. Foot traffic will determine the success of this plant. Both the Yellow and Pink Sand Verbena can be found in "large" quantities at "Dog Beach." A special thanks to Robin Sears, from the Oregon State Parks, for helping me successfully locate the Pink Sand Verbena.
Western Cordilleran Bunchberry
Mountain Dogwood - Mountain Flowering Dogwood
Besides growing in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific dogwood is found in the mountains near San Diego and Los Angeles, and a small population grows in Northern Idaho, where it is threatened. The flower is the floral emblem of British Columbia.
Because of its tannin, the bark is used for a rich, brown dye and as a preservative. The slim, long branches are made into baskets. Close grained and extremely hard wood, make it useful when made into tool handles, as well as for cabinetry.
For indigenous people, the wood was important; they used it to make bows, arrows, tool handles and hooks. Medicinally, it was used as a blood purifier, for strengthening lungs, and help with stomach ailments.
This beautiful tree grows in the dense conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon the tree grows in the Oregon Coast Range and the Oregon Cascades westside.
Cobra Lily - Cobra Plant
Eventually, the insects will fall into a pool of liquid digestive enzyme in the base of the leaf where they are absorbed as food for the plant. This plant is designated as uncommon due to its rarity in the field. It grows in cold wet coastal bogs and wetlands. The name 'Cobra Lily' stems from the resemblance of its tubular leaves to a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf - ranging from yellow to purplish-green - that resemble "fangs" or a serpent's "tongue." I have seen the cobra lily many times, but never had I been in view of the plant when the flower was in bloom...until now. Though I had seen pictures of the flower, seeing one in person was a great experience. The flower is just as bizarre and unusual as the tubular stem.
Oregon Lily - Tiger Lily
Western Goats Beard
Western Coralroot - North American Coralroot
Orchid seeds contain no stored nutrients. Before they can develop, they must be infected by a specialized fungus that establishes a symbiotic relationship, sharing food and enzymes until the young plant can survive on its own. Coralroots, however, never become self-sufficient. Researchers have discovered that members of the genus Corallorhiza are parasitic orchids. They derive their nutrients from eating mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. While most plants make their own food with chlorophyll, Corallorhiza contains little or no chlorophyll. Despite the name, they have no roots but only hard, branched rhizomes that resemble coral. These plants will be found deep in coniferous forests and subalpine woods. They like rich humus and damp soils where a shaft of light reaches the forest floor. They tend to grow in clusters of many plants.
Indian Paintbrush - Giant Red Paintbrush
The Castillejas, (Indian Paintbrush) are parasitic on the roots of other plants. They sometimes fasten their roots upon those of their neighbors and prey upon juices already partially absorbed. For this reason, Indian Paintbrush do not transplant well. Native American Indians made a decoction of seeds from the Scarlet Paintbrush and swallowed for coughs and taken as a purgative and diuretic. They also used the decoction for stopping bleeding, helping a lame back, stiff lungs and sore eyes. Their children sucked the flower nectar of these plants. The root bark was used as an ingredient to color various kinds of animal skins. Native Americans also covered the bright flowers with snail slime and used the mixture to trap hummingbirds.
Unlike most plants, Indian-pipe doesn’t have chlorophyll, the ingredient that makes plants green. Since Indian-pipe has no chlorophyll, it can actually grow without sunlight...but it can't make its own food like most plants. Therefore, it has to "borrow" nutrients, either from decaying plant matter, or from another organism. Roots of the Indian-pipe are connected via fungi to the roots of nearby coniferous trees. Though this flower looks like a fungas...it is not, but it does rely on fungi to survive.
In the Nlaka'pamux Indian native language, the name for Indian-pipe means 'wolf's urine'. They believe it grows wherever a wolf urinates. It also indicates that the harvest of the wood mushroom is near. The plant was also used medically to help stop bleeding wounds that would not heal.
Even though Indian Pipe is an unusually beautiful plant, don't bother picking it...it will wilt and turns black very quickly.
Mountain Collomia - Grand Collomia
Scorpion Weed, Love-me, Marsh Scorpion Grass, Snake Grass
The plant's scientific name and common name have several interesting theories on their origin. The scientific name, Myosotis, means mouse ear, which describes the size and shape of the petal. Its species name, scorpiodes, and the common name "Scorpion Weed", are from the coiled plant stem that resembles a scorpion tail. This appearance led people to believe this flower was a remedy for scorpion stings; however, this claim has never been validated.
The common name may have originated from an unpleasant edible experience that was hard to forget (these plants taste bad), or may have a more heartfelt meaning. It's said that whomever wore this flower wouldn't be forgotten by his or her lover. There are two stories that illustrate the flower's significance among lovers and explain the common name, although both have tragic endings.
In the first story, a suitor was picking this flower for his love and saw the perfect specimen. It was close to the cliff's edge but he reached for it anyway. Losing his balance, the man plummeted over the cliff, shouting, "Forget me not!" as he fell. The second story originates in Germany. A knight and his lovely lady were walking along a riverbank. He was picking this flower for her when he tripped and fell into the river. Before he went under he threw the small bouquet to her and shouted "vergiss mein nicht", the German name of the flower.
Sitka Columbine - Red Rained Flower
Native American people used the columbine for many different purposes. Some thought the flower, as well as the whole plant, was a good luck charm. Children were warned to not pick the flower or it will rain. California Natives ate it as a vegetable after boiling the early spring greens. British Columbia natives treated the flowers like candy, the children sucking out the sweet nectar from the spurs...no wonder it rains a lot in western Canada, hence the Canadian name, Red Rain-flower.
The Native People found many amazing ways to use this plant. Medicinally, the plant was used as an analgesic and antirheumatic by rubbing the leaves over aching joints. Some chewed the leaves for coughs and sore throats and made a decoction of roots for a cold remedy. They made perfumes by chewing the seeds and rubbing it on their bodies and clothing, and not from the flower, although we often think it is the source for fragrance. The columbine was considered a love medicine plant. The women used it as a good-luck-charm, to gain men’s affection.
Red Chickweed - Poorman's Barometer
Western Trumpet Honeysuckle
Mosquito Bills - Sailor Caps
Dodecatheon means 'twelve gods,' from the Greek word dodeka ('twelve') and thoes ('god'), which can be interpreted to mean, a plant is protected by the pantheon...'every god.' So don't pick them.
English Daisy - Common Daisy
This native to Europe is not affected by mowing and is therefore often considered a weed on lawns, though many also value the appearance of the flowers, including children who spend many summer hours making daisy chains. Daisy is also a common girl's name and is a nickname for girls named Margaret, which originally comes from the Latin word for daisy.
In ancient Rome, the surgeons who accompanied Roman legions into battle would order their slaves to pick sacks full of daisies in order to extract their juice. Bandages were then soaked in this juice and then would be used to bind sword and spear cuts.
Common Harebell - Blue Rain Flower
The genus name, from the Latin campana (bell), means little bell. The name Harebell may allude to an association with witches, who were believed able to transform themselves into hares, portents of bad luck when they crossed a persons path. In Scotland, another old name for this plant was Witches Thimble.
There are many myths and legends attached to the naming of the Forget-Me-Not flower. In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name." In another legend, the little flower cried out, "Forget-me-not!" as Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. The Christ child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see her eyes. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots appeared, hence the name forget-me-not.
Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year. In the 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armor he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not".
This is a flower connected with romance and tragic fate. It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love. Most people use these in weddings for love.
Sour Grass - Sleeping Beauty
The name Sour Grass is easy to remember by children who have tasted the leaves or unripe seed capsules. The tart bite of this plant is not unpleasant but the plant should not be consumed in large amounts due to the toxicity of the oxalic acid, the chemical responsible for the sour taste.
Blue Violet - Sand Violet
Cow Lily - Yellow Pond Lily
Deer Orchid - Calypso Fairyslipper - Hider-of-the-North
American girls from the northwest Haida tribe believed if they ate the orchids bulbs, it would improve their bust lines. Picking this orchid will break the roots and kill the plant...so it is best to look but don't touch. The least used common name, 'Hider-of-the-north' is unfortunately becoming more and more of its true name.