[Wildflower Bloom in Central and Eastern Oregon: 2011]

Wildflowers in Bloom Along the Steens Mountain Summit

Steens Mountain Recreation Lands

August 31 through September 2, 2011

A view west down the Little Blitzen Gorge towards smokey skies to the west of the Steens Mountain............September 1, 2011.

A view west down the Little Blitzen Gorge towards smokey skies to the west of the Steens Mountain........September 1, 2011. Wisps of smoke were occasionally observed at the mouth of the canyon, opposite of the Rooster Comb the previous day. Smoke-filled skies limited the view from all of the Steens during the last week of August into early September. The smoke lay close to the ground early in the morning and rose and dispersed enough to see perhaps 10-15 miles by late afternoon. Normally in clear weather, one should be able to see upwards of 100 miles in all directions from the summit ridge of the Steens Mountain.

* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.

The following list includes plants seen along the Steens Mountain North Loop Road between the Kiger Gorge Overlook south along the summit ridge to the Steens Mountain Summit:

Hayden's Sedge: Carex haydenii or Small-winged Sedge: Carex microptera

* Raynold's Sedge: Carex raynoldsii

* Bentgrass: Agrostis sp. ?

* California Brome: Bromus carinatus var. marginatus

* European Smooth Brome: Bromus inermis ssp. inermis ?

* Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides (var. californicus ?)

* Fescue: Festuca sp. ?

* Alpine Timothy: Phleum alpinum

Sandberg's Bluegrass: Poa secunda (ssp. ?) - Past bloom.

* Bluegrass: Poa sp.

* Spike Trisetum: Trisetum spicatum ?

* California False Hellebore: Veratrum californicum var. californicum - Blooming on moist slopes about 200' below the East Rim Viewpoint.

* American Bistort: Bistorta bistortoides

* Mat Buckwheat: Eriogonum cespitosum

* Oval-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. nivale

* Oval-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. ovalifolium

* Sulfur-flower Buckwheat: Eriogonum umbellatum var. dicrocephalum

Mountain Sorrel: Oxyria digyna

* Prostrate Knotweed: Polygonum arenastrum

* Douglas' Knotweed: Polygonum douglasii

* Alpine Sorrel: Rumex paucifolius

* Patata: Monolepis nuttalliana

* Pussypaws: Calyptridium umbellatum - Fading out of bloom.

* Pygmy Lewisia: Lewisia pygmaea

* Prickly Sandwort: Eremogone aculeata

* Mountain Sandwort: Eremogone capillaris var. americana

* Ballhead Sandwort: Eremogone congesta var. congesta

Nuttall's Sandwort: Minuartia nuttallii (var. fragilis ?) - Long past bloom.

* Field Mouse-ear: Cerastium arvense or Alpine Chickweed: Cerastium beeringianum var. capillare

* Douglas' Campion: Silene douglasii

* Oregon Campion: Silene oregana - Fading out of bloom.

Sicklepod Rockcress: Arabis sparsiflora (var. ?) - Past bloom. Pods spreading, drooping.

Draba: Draba sp. - Fruits forming. Perennial. Not Draba densifolia.

Daggerpod: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides - Pods well formed.

* Lance-leaved Stonecrop: Sedum lanceolatum

* Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina

Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum - Berries ripening.

Alpine Prickly Currant: Ribes montigenum - Berries ripening.

* Shrubby Cinquefoil: Dasiphora fruticosa

Prairie Smoke: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum - Feathery fruits well-formed.

* Rock Spirea: Holodiscus microphylla (var. glabrescens ?) - Blooming on rock outcrops about 120' below the East Rim Viewpoint.

* Pink Pinwheels: Horkelia fusca ssp. capitata

* Gordon's Ivesia: Ivesia gordonii - Fading out of bloom.

* Brewer's Cinquefoil: Potentilla breweri

* Diverse-leaved Cinquefoil: Potentilla glaucophylla var. glaucophylla

Sticky Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa var. pseudorupestris - Past bloom, found below the east rim viewpoint.

Elmer's Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis var. elmeri

* Sibbaldia: Sibbaldia procumbens - Fading out of bloom.

* Balloon Milkvetch: Astragalus whitneyi var. confusus - Mostly in fruit, one plant with blooms was found.

* Low Mt. Lupine: Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii

* Long-stalked Clover: Trifolium longipes var hansenii (T. longipes var. nevadense)

* Long-stalked Clover: Trifolium longipes var. multiovulatum (T. longipes var. shastense)

* Tansy-leaved Evening-primrose: Camissonia tanacetifolia

* Fireweed: Chamerion angustifolium - Beginning to bloom where the snow stayed late below the rim at Kiger Gorge.

* Rose Willowherb: Epilobium obcordatum - Blooming on moist ledges about 50 feet below the East Rim Viewpoint.

* Gray's Lovage: Ligusticum grayii - Fading out of bloom.

Showy Frasera: Frasera speciosa - Past bloom.

* Brewer's Navarretia: Navarretia breweri

Short Jacob's Ladder: Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum - Past bloom.

Sky Pilot: Polemonium viscosum - Past bloom.

* Purple Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. alpina - Fading out of bloom.

Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa - Past bloom.

* Broadleaf Bluebells: Mertensia ciliata - Only blooming where snow stayed late below the rim at Kiger Gorge.

* Common Paintbrush: Castilleja miniata

* Peck's Paintbrush: Castilleja peckiana

* Steens Mt. Paintbrush: Castilleja pilosa var. steenensis - Several plants found still in bloom.

* Little Elephant Heads: Pedicularis attolens

* Steens Mt. Penstemon: Penstemon davidsonii var. praeteritus - Several plants found still in bloom.

* Rydberg's Penstemon: Penstemon rydbergii var. rydbergii - Fading out of bloom.

* Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

* Mountain Agoseris: Agoseris monticola

* Sagebrush Agoseris: Agoseris parviflora

* Alpine Pussytoes: Antennaria media

* Rosy Pussytoes: Antennaria rosea - Beginning to bloom.

* Umber Pussytoes: Antennaria umbrinella

* Long-leaf Arnica: Arnica longifolia

* Hairy Arnica: Arnica mollis

* Michaux's Sagewort: Artemisia michauxiana

* Green Rabbitbrush: Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus (var. viscidiflorus ?)

* Steens Mountain Thistle: Cirsium peckii

* Discoid Goldenweed: Ericameria discoidea var. discoidea - Beginning to bloom.

* Truckee Green Rabbitbrush: Ericameria humilis

* Cutleaf Fleabane: Erigeron compositus var. glabratus - Fading out of bloom.

* Showy Fleabane: Erigeron speciosus

* Orange Sneezeweed: Hymenoxys hoopesii

* Hayden's Aster: Oreostemma alpigenum var. haydenii

* Woolly Groundsel: Packera cana

* Thick-leaved Groundsel: Senecio crassulus

* Dwarf Mountain Butterweed: Senecio fremontii

Common Dandylion: Taraxacum officinale

View from Steens Mountain Summit towards the north end of Alvord Lake..........September 1, 2011. - View towards Wildhorse Lake from the Steens Mountain Summit..........September 1, 2011.

View north along the summit ridge from the Steens Mountain Summit..........September 1, 2011. - Alpine prairie atop the Steens Mountain ridgetop..........September 1, 2011.

Views from the Steens Mountain Summit................September 1, 2011. The photo at upper left shows the view from the head of Big Alvord Creek down to the north end of the Alvord Desert. The photo at upper right shows a view down towards Wildhorse Lake from the Steens Summit. Little Wildhorse Lake is uphill and slightly to the right of Wildhorse Lake, and behind the summit of the first ridge. The photo at lower left shows a view north along the summit ridge from the Steens Summit. The headwall of Big Alvord Crek is in the foreground at right. The photo atthe lower left shows some of the high quality native grasslands to be found at this alpine elevation.

Paul Slichter