[Wildflower Bloom in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington: 2015]

Currently Blooming Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington

April 12, 2015

Sevenmile Hill from Sevenmile Road (USFS Right of Way)

Masses of balsamroot and lupine bloom on Sevenmile Hill in places that the Rowena Fire skipped during the fire of summer 2014.........April 12, 2015.

Extensive slopes of Carey's balsamroot, harsh paintbrush and Columbia Gorge lupine in bloom on the south-facing slopes of Sevenmile Hill, Columbia River Gorge.........April 12, 2015. The western portion of The Dalles is visible in the distance at upper left.

* Indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.

From Sevenmile Road, this route climbs along a narrow strip of USFS lands to the ridgeline of Sevenmile Hill. Know your route before going to avoid trespassing on neighboring private lands. Pull completely off Sevenmile Road as vehicles travel fairly fast down this road or know where the dirt access road (on USFS land) is to park at a wide spot uphill about 100 meters above Sevenmile Road. Watch for rattlesnakes and ticks along the route up the hill.

Weather: Partly cloudy skies early turning to hazy in the afternoon. Temperatures in the upper 50s. Winds light. A very comfortable day except for a cool breeze from the northwest at the top of the ridge!

Here's a more complete plant list for Sevenmile Hill.

Cowpie Lichen: Diploschistes muscorum

Antlered Perfume: Evernia prunastri

Navel Lichen: Umbilicaria phaea

Haircap Juniper Moss: Polytrichum juniperinum

Fragile Fern: Cystopteris fragilis - Found under the oaks atop the ridge.

* Elk Sedge: Carex geyeri - Beginning to bloom under the oaks atop the ridge.

* Long-anthered Woodrush: Luzula macrantha - Beginning to bloom.

* Lemmon's Needlegrass: Achnatherum lemmonii ? - Beginning to bloom.

* Cheatgrass: Bromus tectorum

Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides

Idaho Fescue: Festuca idahoensis

* Bulbous Bluegrass: Poa bulbosa - Bulbils visible.

* Nevada Bluegrass: Poa secunda ssp. juncifolia

* Sandberg's Bluegrass: Poa secunda ssp. secunda

* Leiberg's Bluegrass: Poa leibergii

Bluebunch Wheatgrass: Pseudoroegneria spicata

Medusahead: Taenitherum caput-medusae - Last year's heads.

* Bigleaf Maple: Acer macrophyllum

Black Cottonwood: Populus trichocarpa - Beginning to leaf out along the creek at the lowest elevations.

* Oregon White Oak: Quercus garryana - Beginning to bloom & leaf out.

Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa - Only at the ridgetop.

Douglas Fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii - Only at the ridgetop.

Tapertip Onion: Allium accuminatum - In bud.

Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus - Numerous basal leaves.

Ball-headed Cluster Lily: Dichelostemma congestum - In bud.

* Glacier Lily: Erythronium grandiflorum - In bloom under shrubbery just below the north side of the summit ridge.

* Chocolate Lily: Fritillaria affinis - Still in bloom under the oaks at the top of the ridge.

Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica - Pods maturing. Fairly common on upper slopes. Numerous young plants

* Bicolored Cluster Lily: Triteleia grandiflora var. howellii

Hyacinth Cluster Lily: Triteleia hyacinthina - In bud.

Common Bastard Toadflax: Comandra umbellata var. californica

Heartleaf Buckwheat: Eriogonum compositum var. compositum - In bud on lower, south-facing slopes.

Tall Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum

* Sheep Sorrel: Rumex acetosella

Curly Dock: Rumex crispus

* Winter Purslane: Claytonia perfoliata ssp. intermontana

* Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata

* Red Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia rubra ssp. rubra

* Line-leaf Montia: Montia linearis - Fading out of bloom.

* Sticky Chickweed: Cerastium glomeratum

* Jagged Chickweed: Holosteum umbellatum - Fading out of bloom.

* Chickweed: Stellaria media

Shining Chickweed: Stellaria nitens - Past bloom.

* Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum

* Western Buttercup: Ranunculus occidentalis - Fairly common at all elevations where wet.

Shining Oregon Grape: Berberis aquifolium

* Spring Whitlow-grass: Draba verna var. boerhaavii - Only blooming on the ridgetop.

* Rough Wallflower: Erysimum capitatum - Beginning to bloom.

Scale Pod: Idahoa scapigera - Pods.

* Fringe Pod: Thysanocarpus curvipes - Still in bloom with lots of ripe seed pods.

* Bulblet Prairie Star: Lithophragma bulbifera - In bloom at higher elevations.

* Small-flowerd Prairie Star: Lithophragma parviflorum

* Northwestern Saxifrage: Saxifraga integrifolia var. integrifolia - Fading out of bloom.

Mock Orange: Philadelphus lewisii - Beginning to leaf out.

Ocean Spray: Holodiscus discolor - Beginning to leaf out.

Pearhip Rose: Rosa woodsii var. ultramontana - Leafing out.

* Hood River Milk-vetch: Astragalus hoodianus

* Howell's Milk-vetch: Astragalus howellii

* Few-flowered Pea: Lathyrus pauciflorus

* Spurred Lupine: Lupinus arbustus

* Bicolor Lupine: Lupinus bicolor

* Columbia Gorge Broad-leaf Lupine: Lupinus latifolius var. thompsonianus (Lupinus latifolius x sericeus)

* Small-flowered Lupine: Lupinus micranthus

* Rabbit's-foot Clover: Trifolium arvense - Beginning to bloom on disturbed soils at low elevation.

* Big-head Clover: Trifolium macrocephalum - Fading out of bloom.

* Spring Pea: Vicia lathyroides

* Common Vetch: Vicia sativa

Annual Cow Vetch: Vicia villosa

* Filaree: Erodium cicutarium

Poison Oak: Toxicodendron diversilobum

Deer Brush: Ceanothus integerrimus

Slender Godetia: Clarkia gracilis - In bud.

* Burr Chervil: Anthriscus caucalis (A. scandicina)

* Western Hedgeparsley: Yabea microcarpa

* Columbia Desert Parsley: Lomatium columbianum - A feware still in bloom. Mostly going to seed.

* Chocolate Tips, Fern-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium dissectum var. dissectum

Largeseed Biscuitroot: Lomatium macrocarpum - Yellow-flowered form, fruits developing.

* Bare-stem Desert Parsley: Lomatium nudicaule - Small plants, but numerous bloom.

Salt and Pepper: Lomatium piperi - Going to seed.

* Nine Leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium triternatum var. anomalum

* Nine Leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium tridentatum var. triternatum

Common Sweet Cicely: Osmorhiza berteroi - Under the oaks atop the ridge.

Yampah: Perideridia gairdneri

* Poet's Shooting Star: Dodecatheon poeticum - Blooming on moist, grassy slopes under the oaks atop the ridge.

Columbia Frasera: Frasera albicaulis var. columbiana - In bud.

Spreading Dogbane: Apocynum androsaemifolium (var. ?)

Large-flowered Collomia: Collomia grandiflora

* Babystars: Leptosiphon bicolor- Beginning to bloom.

* Midget Phlox: Microsteris gracilis (formerly Microsteris gracilis) - Fading out of bloom.

* Ball-head Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. thompsonii - Still blooming amongst the oaks at the ridgetop.

* Meadow Nemophila: Nemophila pedunculata - Blooming where moist on the upper half of the ridge.

Woods Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. austiniae - In bud under the oaks.

* Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. hastata - Beginning to bloom.

* Varileaf Phacelia: Phacelia heterophylla ssp. virgata - Beginning to bloom.

* Menzie's Fiddleneck: Amsinckia menziesii (var. ?)

* Gromwell: Lithospermum arvense

* Puccoon: Lithospermum ruderale

* Blue and Yellow Scorpionweed: Myosotis discolor

* Blue Scorpiongrass: Myosotis micrantha

* Little Pectocarya: Pectocarya pusilla

* Rusty Popcorn Flower: Plagiobothrys nothofulvus

* Slender Popcorn Flower: Plagiobothrys tenellus

* Henbit: Lamium amplexicaule

* Narrowleaf Paintbrush: Castilleja attenuata

* Harsh Paintbrush: Castilleja hispida var. hispida

* Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora - Fading out of bloom. Very numerous, covering burned ground in places. Many white-flowered forms too!

* Common Monkeyflower: Mimulus guttatus

Sticky-stem Penstemon: Penstemon glandulosus var. chelanensis - Some stems nearing the height for flower buds to start developing.

* Small-flowered Tonella: Tonella tenella

* Dwarf Owl-clover: Triphysaria pusilla

Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus - On the lower slopes.

* Corn Speedwell: Veronica arvensis

* Naked Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. occidentalis

* Naked Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea

* Common Bedstraw: Galium aparine

Common Snowberry: Symphoricarpos albus - Beginning to leaf out.

* Long-spurred Plectritis: Plectritis ciliosa

* White Plectritis: Plectritis macrocera

* Big Root, Wild Cucumber: Marah oreganus

* Yarrow: Achillea millefolium - Beginning to bloom.

* Annual Agoseris: Agoseris heterophylla

Heartleaf Arnica: Arnica cordifolia

* Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamhoriza careyana (or a hybrid with B. deltoidea ?)

Bachelor's Buttons: Centaurea cyanus

Diffuse Knapweed: Centaurea diffusa - Fairly common on disturbed, lower slopes.

Hall's Goldenweed: Columbiadoria hallii (Haplopappus hallii)

Smooth Hawksbeard: Crepis capillaris

Gray Hawksbeard: Crepis (intermedia ?) - Under the oaks along the summit ridge.

Western Hawksbeard: Crepis occidentalis ? - Basal rosettes of leaves seen.

Oregon Sunshine: Eriophyllum lanatum var. lanatum - In bud. Blooming along I-84 adjacent to the Discovery Center.

Scouler's Hawkweed: Hieracium scouleri var. cynoglossoides

Prickly Lettuce: Lactuca serriola

* Slender Tarweed: Madia gracilis ? - Blooming on the lower slopes.

* False Agoseris: Nothocalais troximoides (formerly Microseris troximoides) - Blooming at high elevations.

Rayless Goldenweed: Pyrrocoma carthamoides var. carthamoides

* Yellow Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus var. exaltus - A few plants beginning to bloom under the oaks at higher elevations.

* Common Dandelion: Taraxacum officinale

Salsify: Tragopogon dubius

Animals Seen at This Location:

California Ground Squirrels

Turkey Vultures

Red-tailed Hawks

Cooper's Hawks

Turkeys - Feathery remains of someone's dinner.

Killdeer - Heard from farms near Sevenmile Road


Common Ravens

Western Meadowlarks

Spotted Towhees

Western Bluebirds

Anna's Hummingbird

Horned Lizard

Tree Frogs

California Tortoiseshells

Sara's Orangetips

Carnivorous Ground Beetles

Bumble Bees - Several species (Including a very large species)

Sevenmile Hill (via USFS Right of Way from Sevenmile Road)......April 20, 2014- - Sevenmile Hill 04-12-2015

Sevenmile Hill (via USFS Right of Way from Sevenmile Road)......April 20, 2014 - Sevenmile Hill 04-12-2015

Flower-filled slopes adorn Sevenmile Hill on April 20, 2014 in the photos at left. Carey's balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana), harsh paintbrush (Castilleja hispida) and Columbia Gorge lupine (Lupinus latifolius var. thompsonianus) are shown prominently in bloom. The photos at right show Sevenmile Hill on April 12, 2015 (when wildflower bloom was about 3 weeks earlier than 2914) showing the effects of the Rowena Fire from the summer of 2014. The lupines and desert parsley are coming up well as are the annuals. But the balsamroots were set back enough by the burn that only a few plants appear to be blooming in 2015, hence the lack of yellow color except in places spared by the fire.

Paul Slichter