[Wildflower Bloom in Central and Eastern Oregon: 2016]

Wildflowers of Cottonwood Canyon State Park

South River Trail

East Bank of the John Day River: JS Burres State Park to the Esau Corral

Gilliam County, Oregon

February 20, 2016

The John Day River viewed downstream from its east bank, Cottonwood Canyon State Park........February 20, 2016.

A view north downstream along the John Day River Canyon from the old ranch road along the east bank of the river, Cottonwood Canyon State Park...........February 20, 2016. The mouth of Esau Canyon is just around the river bend to the left. View additional photos below.

Additional Information for those planning to hike Cottonwood Canyon State Park:

Cottonwood Canyon Info: includes map showing BLM vs. Oregon State Park land. Even better maps are available from the BLM. http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=main.loadFile&load=_siteFiles/publications/Cottonwood101301.pdf

Cottonwood Planned Trail Development: (scroll down for planned trails) http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PLANS/docs/masterplans/cottonwood/cottonwood-plan-maps-ch10.pdf

* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.

Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis

* White Alder: Alnus rhombifolia

Western Hackberry: Celtis reticulata

Creek Dogwood: Cornus sericea

Coyote Willow: Salix exigua var. exigua

Cowpie Lichen: Diploschistes (muscorum ?)

Navel Lichen: Umbilicaria sp.

Scouring Rush: Equisteum hyemale

Ripgut Brome: Bromus diandrus

Cheat Grass: Bromus tectorum

Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides (var. ?)

Barley: Hordeum sp. ?

Basin Wildrye: Leymus cinereus

Reed Canarygrass: Phalaris arundinacea

Bulbous Bluegrass: Poa bulbosa

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

Bluebunch Wheatgrass: Pseudoroegneria spicata

Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus - Leaves only.

Bicolored Cluster Lily: Triteleia grandiflora - Basal leaves present.

Northern Buckwheat: Eriogonum compositum var. compositum

Snow Buckwheat: Eriogonum niveum ?

Prickly Russian Thistle: Salsola tragus

Western Clematis: Clematis ligusticifolia

Hornseed Buttercup: Ranunculus testiculatus - In bud.

* Spring Whitlow-grass: Draba verna - In bud.

* Scalepod: Idahoa scapigera

Whitetop: Lepdium appellianum ? - Dried remains of last year's plants.

Tall Tumblemustard: Sisymbrium altissimum

Cut-leaf Thelypody: Thelypodium laciniatum - New basal leaf foliage. On cliffs.

Leiberg's Stonecrop: Sedum leibergii - In bud.

Alpine Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina

* Smooth Prairie Star: Lithophragma glabrum - Non bulblet form.

Brittle-leaved Saxifrage: Micranthes fragosa ? - Leaves only.

Nesting Saxifrage: Micranthes nidifica ? - A few plants with flower buds.

Golden Currant: Ribes aureum - Leafing out. A few flower buds.

Mock Orange: Philadelphus lewisii

Sticky Cinquefoil: Drymocallis sp. ? - Basal leaves.

Pearhip Rose: Rosa woodsii var. ultramontana

Himalayan Blackberry: Rubus bifrons

American Licorice: Glycyrrhiza lepidota

Longspur Lupine: Lupinus (arbustus ?) - Leaves just coming out of the ground.

Filaree: Erodium cicutarium

Western Sumac: Rhus glabra

Poison Ivy: Toxicodendron rydbergii

Hedge-parsley: Caucaulis microcarpus ?

Poison Hemlock: Conium maculataum

* Canby's Desert Parsley: Lomatium canbyi

Fernleaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium dissectum var. multifidum

* Salt and Pepper: Lomatium gormanii

* Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium grayi - Beginning to bloom.

* Henderson's Desert Parsley: Lomatium hendersonii

Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. hastata

Branching Phacelia: Phacelia ramosissima var. subglabra

Fiddleneck: Amsinckia sp. - Basal leaves.

Common Monkeyflower: Erythranthe guttata

Dalmatian Toadflax: Linaria dalmatica

Cutleaf Penstemon: Penstemon richardsonii var. dentatus

Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus

Blue Elderberry: Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

Stiff Sagebrush: Artemisia rigida

Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana - Leaves beginning to poke out from the dried remains of last year's dried leaves.

Diffuse Knapweed: Centaurea diffusa

Hoary Goldaster: Heterotheca villosa (var. ?)

Wavyleaf Thistle: Cirsium undulatum

* Goldstars: Crocidium multicaule

Showy Rubber Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa (var. speciosa ?)

Columbia Goldenweed: Ericameria resinosa

Matchbrush: Gutierrezia sarothrae

Scotch Thistle: Onopordum acanthium

Skeletonweed: Stephanomeria (tenuifolia ?)

Animals Observed During This Hike:

Bighorn Sheep - About 30.

Mule Deer - Tracks and scat.

Canada Geese - Active along the banks of the John Day River.

Common Mergansers



Red-tailed Hawk


Common Flicker - Feathers remaining from a feast.

Varied Thrush - In white alders along the river.

Says Phoebe - Probably the first day or two at this location. Migrating through or setting up nesting territory?

Song Sparrows

Bewick's Wren

Rock Wrens - Calling on the cliffs.

Bushtits - Very numerous in riparian shrubs and trees and throughout the sagebrush on the flats lining the river.

Jerusalem Cricket

Cottonwood Canyon State Park from the east bank of the John Day River.......February 20, 2016. - The John Day River Canyon viewed upstream about one mile downstream from the Cottonwood State Park Campground..........February 20, 2016.

The image at left looks upstream from the east bank of the John Day River towards the Oregon Highway 206 Bridge with the old barn, interpretive building and park residences for Cottonwood Canyon State Park seen across the river. At some point, cabins and yurts will be constructed in the field at right. The photo at right shows coyote willows on a gravel bar covered by the flooding John Day River, looking upstream to the west side of the river, about three quarters of a mile or so downstream from the campground at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Both photos taken on February 20, 2016.

Paul Slichter