My checklist of Cascade and Olympic flora

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My checklist of Cascade and Olympic flora
Created On: Oct 7, 2009
Last Edited On: May 16, 2010

Finding pretty flowers and shooting them

UPDATE: Since I've moved to Seattle and am in the Cascades more than the Olympics these days, I'm expanding this to album to both ranges.

While on a walk up the trail to Deer Park from Obstruction Point, I took little side hops up Elk Mountain and Maiden Peak, making extraspecialsure to stay on the scree and off of the vegetation. It was only at the top of Elk Mountain that I took a closer look down at what I had so studiously been avoiding. Instead of just one or two types of lichen, I discovered that I had been traipsing by DOZENS of types of small plants. Lichens, little succulents, small leafy sage-like plants -- all kinds of flora! At that moment, I realized that in SummitPost I have a way to catalog all the plants and flowers I'm seeing, that I have a way to compare what I think something is (I'm sometimes a little shaky with guidebook reading) with what someone else thinks it is, and so on.

I know that many SPers make similar albums, and that eventually (or immediately) there's going to be overlap, so I'm just going to treat this as my own personal checklist, and won't ask to add it to the Olympic pages.

---> Looking for a more comprehensive album of Olympic flora? Trust me when I say that OlympicMtnBoy's lovely Olympic Wildflowers album is the place to go.


I'm currently using the Mountaineers' Field Guide to the Cascades and Olympics, and it's served me pretty well. It's not too heavy in my pack and I've only found one item (a thistle burdock (burdock thistle?)) that wasn't listed, and that turned out to be because it's an invasive species.

A friend of mine on flickr uses and recommends the Timber Press' Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Next time I see it at a bookstore, I'll give it a good look and maybe pick up a copy.



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lcarreau - Oct 8, 2009 2:24 pm - Voted 10/10

Hello TimmyC ...

Back when I lived in western WA in the 1980's, I was also completely fascinated by the native flora & fauna I was seeing.

'Steven Whitney' has authored some incredible guidebooks. I know
you will run into species not listed in his books, but perhaps
you can consult a professor or teacher at a local college for
an answer - probably best to send an e-mail.

I enrolled myself in a "Mountain Biology" class and several
forestry classes while living in Washington. Interestingly, it
made a very positive impact on my life to this very day.

I know the economy isn't like it was back in the 1980's, but
please don't give up your passion for native plants. Our lives
would be very bland and boring without these blooming wonders of


TimmyC - Oct 10, 2009 2:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Hello TimmyC ...

Thanks for the vote, lcarreau! And yeah, Whitney writes some great guides. He's the author of the Mountaineers' guide that I have, and it really is a very useful book. A friend of mine has his [i]Western Forests[/i] guide, which I also like. And I totally agree that education really helps one's appreciation of the outdoors. And the Olympics have soooo much to offer!

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My checklist of Cascade and Olympic flora

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