Wildflower Bloom Reports for Central Oregon

Wildflower Bloom in Central Oregon: July 6, 2004

Fish Lake Camp Ground

Steens Mountain

A view east along Fish Lake on the Steens Mt. of southeastern Oregon, June 20, 2004.

The North Steens Loop Road is currently open as high as the East Rim Overlook. One may hike the road 2 miles to the high point on Steens Mt or the trailhead for Wildhorse Lake. I'd imagine that the BLM will open this road soon as it looks largely clear of snow and has been graded. The South Steens Loop Road will not be opened for a week or so as snow still lies deep in drifts about 1/2 mile below its junction with the North Steens Loop Road.

This list notes plants found around Fish Lake within 400 meters upslope of the following coordinates:

N42* 44.270' --- W118* 048' --- Elevation: 7369' --- +/- 22'

* indicates flowers currently in bloom

Willow: Salix sp.

Quaking Aspen: Populus tremuloides

* Common Camas: Camassia quamash - Only a few in bloom.

False Hellebore: Veratrum californicum var. californicum

* Wyeth Buckwheat: Eriogonum heracloides var. heracloides

* American Bistort: Bistorta bistortoides

Brown's Peony: Paeonia brownii

* American Wintercress: Barbarea orthoceras

* Crimson Columbine: Aquilegia formosa

* Straightbeak Buttercup: Ranunculus orthorhynchus var. orthorhynchus

* Meadow Rue: Thalictrum sp.

* Northwestern Saxifrage: Saxifraga integrifolia (var. ?)

* Bog Saxifrage: Saxifraga oregana

Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum

Whitestem Gooseberry: Ribes inerme

* Large-leaved Avens: Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum

* Pink Pinwheels: Horkelia fusca ssp. capitata

* Diverse-leaved Cinquefoil: Potentilla diversifolia var. glaucophylla

* Glandular Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa (var. ?)

* Graceful Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis (var. ?)

* Tailcup Lupine: Lupinus argenteus var. heteranthus

* White-leaved Lupine: Lupinus leucophyllus

* Oregon Checkermallow: Sidalcea oregana

* Sticky Geranium: Geranium viscosissimum (var. ?)

* Stemless Evening-primrose: Camissonia subacaulis

Angelica: Angelica arguta

Green Gentian: Swertia radiata (Frasera speciosa)

*Alpine Shooting Star: Dodecatheon alpinum - Fading bloom.

Western Polemonium: Polemonium occidentale - In bud.

* Varied-leaf Phacelia: Phacelia heterophylla var. heterophylla

* Blue Stickseed: Hackelia micrantha

* Broadleaf Bluebells: Mertensia ciliata

* Nettle-leaved Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia

* Common Paintbrush: Castilleja miniata var. ?

*Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora

*Common Yellow Monkey Flower: Mimulus guttatus

* Elephant's Head: Pedicularis groenlandica -Fading bloom.

* Rydberg's Penstemon: Penstemon rydbergii var. rydbergii

Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus

* Twinberry: Lonicera involucrata

* Mountain Snowberry: Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. rotundifolius (S. oreophilus )

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

* Heartleaf Arnica: Arnica cordifolia

Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana

*Steen's Mt. Thistle: Cirsium peckii

* Orange Sneezeweed: Dugaldia hoopesii (Hymenoxis hoopesii or Helenium hoopesii)

* Foreign Fleabane: Erigeron glacialis var. callianthemis

* Thick-leaved Groundsel: Senecio crassulus

Butterweed Groundsel: Senecio serra

Animals Seen around Fish Lake Camp Ground:

Belding Ground Squirrel (Both adults and many juveniles)

Sierra Nevada Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel


Violet-green Swallows

American Robins

Mountain Bluebirds

Brewer's Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbirds

House Wren

White-crowned Sparrows

House Finches

Mourning Doves

Yellow Warblers

Sage Thrasher


Caspian Tern

Northern Flicker

Red-naped Sapsucker (male)



Mule Deer

Additional Plants Seen Uphill from Fish Lake Along the North Loop Road:

N 42* 44.055' ----- W 118* 37.949' ----- Elevation: 7475' ---- +/- 27'

This area is a nice rocky swale where evidently an arm of the ancient glacier crossed the ridge from the valley to the north and passed into the Fish Creek drainage. Many of the plants listed here are to be found on these rocks, making beautiful rock gardens at this time of year. A nice wet meadow with small creek may also be found on the north side of the road at this location. Follow the faint road to the north towards the trees. The area makes a nice campground, but be aware that this is a private parcel and that sheep may be grazed here during part of the year.

* Prickly Sandwort: Arenaria aculeata

* Ballhead Sandwort: Arenaria congesta (var. ?)

* Brewer's Cinquefoil: Potentilla breweri

* Dark-throat Shooting Star: Dodecatheon pulchellum var. pulchellum

* Little Elephant's Heads: Pedicularis attollens

* Steen's Mountain Penstemon: Penstemon davidsonii var. praeteritus

* Hayden's Aster: Aster alpigenus var. haydenii

* Stemless Goldenweed: Stenotus acaulis

Paul Slichter