[Wildflower Bloom in Central and Eastern Washington: 2008]

Wildflower Bloom in Central and Eastern Washington

March 22, 2008

Yakima Skyline Trail

Sagebrush Violets: Viola trinervata - Photographed along the Yakima Skyline Trail................March 22, 2008.

The Yakima Skyline Trail can be accessed by driving north from Selah, WA on N. Wenas Road. After several miles, turn right onto Gibson Road for about one-quarter mile. Turn right onto gravelled Buffalo Road, proceeding straight, then after the sharp turn to the right, turn left into the parking area (surrounded by fencing). If one has a high clearance vehicle, one can proceed through the gate and drive uphill for about another mile to a grassy parking area. The trail hiked was this western loop of the trail to the summit of the ridge.

A second parking area can be accessed by proceeding straight on Buffalo Road past the first parking area, then eventually working back uphill to a trailhead on the bluffs above the west bank of the Yakima River.

* Indicates the plant is currently in bloom.

1. Basin Wildrye: Leymus cinereus -

2. Bluebunch Wheatgrass: Pseudoroegneria spicata (Agropyron spicatum) -

3. Smooth Sumac: Rhus glabra -

4. Taper-tip Onion: Allium accuminatum - Identified via the dried inflorescence from last year.

* 5. Scilla-like Onion: Allium scilloides - A few beginning to bloom at the summit (both pink or whitish flowers).

6. Green-banded Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus -

* 7. Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica - Fairly numerous at upper elevations along the trail.

8. Meadow Death Camas: Zigadenus venonosus - Basal leaves seen along with several dried scapes from the previous season.

9. Wyeth Buckwheat, Parsnip-leaf Buckwheat: Eriogonum heracloides -

9. Slender Buckwheat: Eriogonum microthecum var. laxiflorum -

10. Rock Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocelphalum -

11. Strict Buckwheat: Eriogonum strictum -

12. Thyme-leaf Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides -

13. Spiny Hopsage: Atriplex spinosa -

14. Bitteroot: Lewisia rediviva -

15. Clematis: Clematis (ligusticifolia?) -

16. Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum -

* 17. Sagebrush Buttercup: Ranunculus glaberrimus - Numerous plants, many in large clumps near the summit.

* 18. Hornseed Buttercup: Ranunculus testiculatus - Abundant at lower elevations.

* 19. Cusick's Rockcress: Arabis cusickii - One plant seen in bloom.

20. Rockress: Arabis sp. (holboellii or sparsiflora) - A number of plants were seen with very leafy stems, but no inflorescence was visible yet to aid identification.

21. Blue Mustard: Chorispora tenella -

* 22. Spring Whitlow Grass: Draba verna -

23. Perfoliate Pepperweed: Lepidium perfoliatum -

24. Daggerpod: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides - A number of plants forming flower buds.

25. Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica (var. ?)

* 26. Bulblet Prairie-star: Lithophragma glabrum (formerly Lithophragma bulbifera) - A few beginning to bloom.

27. Mock Orange: Philadelphus lewisii -

28. Golden Currant: Ribes aureum -

* 29. Wax Currant: Ribes cereum - One plant seen in bloom.

30. Antelope Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata - Several plants seen, with both beginning to leaf out.

31. Rose: Rosa sp. - Several plants with new leaves seen.

32. Woolly Pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus purshii -

33. Yakima Milk-vetch: Astragalus reventiformis - Some basal leaves seen, but more prominent were the previous years stalks with dried, dehisced fruits.

34. Lupine: Lupinus sp. -

* 35. Sagebrush Violet: Viola trinervata -

36. Blazing Star: Mentzelia laevicaulis -

* 37. Canby's Desert Parsley: Lomatium canbyi - Fairly numerous.

* 38. Fern-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium dissectum - Fairly numerous although plants are still small.

* 39. Geyer's Desert Parsley: Lomatium geyeri - Seen in grasslands near the top of the ridge.

* 40. Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium grayi - A number of plants seen at all elevations.

* 41. Hamblen's Desert Parsley: Lomatium hambleniae -

* 42. Biscuitroot: Lomatium macrocarpum - Fairly numerous at all elevations.

* 43. Barestem Desert Parsley: Lomatium nudicaule -

* 44. Nine-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium triternatum - Fairly numerous.

45. Longleaf Phlox: Phlox longifolia - A few plants seen.

46. Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa - Several plants seen.

47. Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata - Basal leaves and a few dried stems seen.

48. Fiddleneck, Tarweed, Fireweed: Amsinckia sp. - Basal leaves only.

49. Purple Sage: Salvia dorii -

50. Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora - Numerous but only a few in bud.

51. Gairdner's Penstemon: Penstemon gairdneri -

52. Clustered Broomrape: Orobanche fasciculata - Dried plants of last year's growth.

53. Blue Elderberry: Sambucus cerulea -

54. Yarrow: Achillea millefolium -

55. Low Pussytoes: Antennaria dimorpha - In bud.

56. Stiff Sagebrush: Artemisia rigida -

57. Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata -

* 58. Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamhoriza hookeri - A few plants beginning to bloom below 2000'.

59. Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamhoriza careyana ? - Plants are very young and possibly could be arrowleaf balsamroot (B. sagittata).

60. Knapweed: Centaurea sp. - A few dried plants seen.

61. Dusty Maidens: Chaenactis douglasii - Basal leaves present.

62. Hawksbeard: Crepis sp. (possibly 2 different species seen?) - Basal leaf clusters seen with some having dried floral stems from the previous year present.

63. Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa (old Chrysothamnus nauseosus) -

64. Columbia Goldenweed: Ericameria resinosa (old Haplopappus resinosus) -

65. Yellow Desert Daisy: Erigeron linearis - Seen near the tops of ridges and slopes.

66. Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermis var. poliospermis -

67. Cusick's Sunflower: Helianthus cusickii - Onlys basal clusters of leaves were seen.

68. Narrow-leaf Goldenweed: Stenotus stenophylla (formerly Haplopappus stenophyllus) - In bud. Fairly numerous.

69. False Agoseris: Nothocalais troximoides (formerly Microseris troximoides) - Basal leaves with some showing flower buds.

70. Yellow Salsify: Tragopogon dubius - Dried plants from the previous year were observed.

Animals Seen at this Site:


Horned Larks - A few seen and heard.

Dark-eyed Juncos



Violet-green Swallows



Top left: View upstream from the rim of the Yakima Skyline Trail (3-22-2008). Top Right: View towards Selah Butte from the Yakima Skyline Trail (3-22-08). Bottom Left: View southwest towards Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams from the summit ridge of the Yakima Skyline Trail (3-22-2008). Bottom Right: Hamblen's Desert Parsley (Lomatium hambleniae). Click each photo to see a larger view.

Paul Slichter