Tag Archives: wildflowers

Goat’s Foot Morning Glory

Goat’s foot morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae, Convolvulaceae) can be found on tropical ocean shores around the globe. Also known as goat’s foot vine, railroad vine, bayhops, and beach morning glory, this evergreen perennial is one of the most widely-distributed salt-tolerant … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Manzanita

Found throughout large areas of the North American west, manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp., Ericaceae) are common inhabitants of chaparral and other arid shrublands and woodlands. Made up of dozens of species, these woody plants grow as bushes or small trees and can be … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Mule-ears

Mule-ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis, Asteraceae) are relatively conspicuous herbaceous plants found throughout much of the western United States. These sunflower relatives feature long, broad leaves that resemble mule ears as well as numerous large yellow flower heads. They inhabit the intermountain west and are most … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Cutleaf Toothwort

Appearing in eastern woodlands in April and May, cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata, Brassicaceae) exhibits the four-petaled flower arrangement typical of members of the mustard family.  Its large flowers and relative abundance early in the season make it a favorite of insect pollinators. … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Bloodroot

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis, Papaveraceae) is one of many plants known as a spring ephemeral. Spurred into action by increasing day length in early spring, these plants complete their life cycles in just a few weeks. By the time deciduous trees have leafed out in May, these plants … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Yellow Trout-Lily

Found in moist woodlands of eastern North America, yellow trout-lilies (Erythronium americanum, Liliaceae) are one of many plants known as spring ephemerals. These plants germinate, grow, flower and reproduce in just a few weeks in early spring. Increasing day length and sun … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Bees on a Squawroot

Squawroot (Conopholis americana, Orobanchaceae) is a fascinating plant because it is a parasite of other plants. Found in eastern North America it feeds predominantly on nutrients produced by oaks and beeches (family Fagaceae). Since it does not perform photosynthesis and lacks the green … Continue reading

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Redwood National Park Revisited

Back in 2013 a friend and I made a quick trip through Redwood National Park in northwest California. Our visit here was too short, so last summer when my wife and I were in the area we made a point to spend … Continue reading

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Winter Wetland Walk

Yesterday was relatively warm and sunny so after work I stopped for a bit at a local wildlife refuge. Throughout much of the year this area hosts a wide variety of waterfowl, songbirds, Sandhill Cranes and sometimes even Whooping Cranes. … Continue reading

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Lava Beds National Monument

Located within the Cascade Range in northeast California, Lava Beds National Monument preserves over 72 square miles (186 square km) of cinder cones, lava flows, and the largest collection of lava tube caves to be found in North America. These remarkable features … Continue reading

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Crater Lake National Park

Around 7700 years ago the Oregon volcano known as Mount Mazama exploded in one of the most devastating eruptions known to man. Blasting about 3000 feet (914 m) of material from its summit, the ash fell as far as western Wyoming … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Western skunk cabbage

Native to North America, western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus, Araceae) can be found from Alaska to northern California and as far east as Montana. This species loves water and shade and appropriately inhabits swamps, marshes, stream banks, wet forests, and other moisture-rich areas throughout … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Arctic sweet coltsfoot

Arctic sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus var. palmatus, Asteraceae) is a cold-hardy herbaceous perennial that is native to northern Asia, Europe, and North America. It prefers moist soil and shade and can often be found near streams and wet forests throughout its range. … Continue reading

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Olympic National Park

It seems impossible to summarize the diversity of Olympic National Park in one photo. Spanning over 1441 square miles (3732 square km) in northwestern Washington, this park encompasses some of the most varied terrain in the entire US National Park … Continue reading

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The Least-Visited National Parks in America’s Lower 48 (and why you should visit them) Part 1

Although the United States has over 400 locations administered by the National Park Service, there are only 59 that are official “national parks.” Of these 47 are located in the lower 48 states and are relatively accessible. Most people know … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Indian heliotrope

Although native to southern Asia, Indian heliotrope (Heliotropium indicum, Boraginaceae) has been spread by human activity throughout the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Long ago it was introduced to the southeastern United States, and today it thrives in this … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Sweet after death

Sweet after death (Achlys triphylla, Berberidaceae) gets its common name from the fragrant aroma that is released by its dead and dried leaves. This scent has been compared to vanilla, and as a result it’s also known as vanilla leaf. In spite … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Wild hollyhock

Wild hollyhock (Iliamna rivularis, Malvaceae) goes by a number of other common names including streambank wild hollyhock, mountain hollyhock,  streambank globemallow, and maple mallow. The flowers are similar in structure to other members of the mallow family and have five wide, overlapping petals. This … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Ant on a shrubby cinquefoil

Shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa, Rosaceae) is an important source of food for many insects. Its wide distribution, cold-hardiness, and relatively long flowering period make it a reliable source of pollen and nectar for a variety of bees, wasps, butterflies, and … Continue reading

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Badlands National Park

Located in southwest South Dakota is the beautiful and fascinating terrain of Badlands National Park. This park encompasses 381 square miles (987 square km) of colorful, jagged hills that decorate one of the largest remaining mixed-grass prairies in the United States. Situated … Continue reading

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