[Wildflower Bloom in the Columbia River Gorge: 2017]

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

Columbia Hills State Park: from both the Crawford Oaks and Dalles Mt. Ranch Trailheads

A Native Plant Society of Oregon Hike

March 8 & 11, 2017

A view west towards Horsethief Butte and The Dalles, OR from bluffs above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead (visible next to WA State Highway 14), Columbia Hills State Park........March 8, 2017

A view west towards Horsethief Butte and The Dalles, OR from bluffs above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead (visible next to WA State Highway 14), Columbia Hills State Park........March 8, 2017.

Comprehensive Plant List for Columbia Hills State Park from the Crawford Oaks and The Dalles Mt. Ranch Trailheads

Directions and Plant Lists to the Crawford Oaks Trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park

Directions and Plant Lists to The Dalles Mt. Ranch Trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park

Weather: Today, the weather began cloudy with a light rain setting in. Winds were light and temps were in the mid 40s. After lunch, the skies cleared and became sunny, with winds remaining light and temps climbing into the low 50s.

Note: Most of the snow has finally melted atop the Columbia Hills (except above the lowest microwave tower), but the water table is still high and thus Eightmile Creek is running at flood stage (making for a beautiful waterfall above the Crawford Oaks Trailhead). High water means that it is not possible to cross Eightmile Creek without getting very wet for the next 2 weeks. If you hike from the Crawford Oaks Trailhead, you won't be able to cross to the floriferous east side of the creek. Obtain access to the east side of the creek from the Dalles Mt. Ranch Trailhead. Remember: Display your Discover Pass ($10 per day, available at both trailheads.). The trailheads are checked by all park personnel, and they will ticket anyone parked along The Dalles Mt. Road or on the road up to the Natural Area Preserve trailhead if you are within the boundary of the park.

Cowpie Lichen: Diploschistes muscorum

Lace Lipfern: Cheilanthes gracillima

Scouring Rush: Equisetum hyemale

Goldback Fern: Pentagramma triangularis

Wallace's Spikemoss: Selaginella wallacei

Bigleaf Maple: Acer macrophyllum - Terminal buds are swelling, and these beautiful trees should begin blooming in a couple weeks or so!

Tree-of-Heaven: Ailanthus altissima

Red-osier Dogwood: Cornus sericea

Oregon White Oak: Quercus garryana var. garryana

Smooth Sumac: Rhus glabra

Poison Oak: Toxicoscordion diversilobum - Bare stems only.

Lemmon's Needlegrass: Achnatherum lemmonii ssp. lemmonii

Ripgut: Bromus diandrus

Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides

Great Basin Wildrye: Leymus cinereus

Leiberg's Bluegrass: Poa leibergii

Bluebunch Wheatgrass: Pseudoroegneria spicata

Cereal Rye: Secale cereale

Medusa Head: Taenitherum caput-medusae

Tapertip Onion: Allium accuminatum - Leaves only.

Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus - Basal leaves.

* Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica

Panicled Death Camas: Toxicoscordion paniculatum - Only leaves.

Bicolored Cluster Lily: Triteleia grandiflora - Only leaves.

Hyacinth Cluster Lily: Triteleia hyacinthina - Only leaves.

Heartleaf Buckwheat: Eriogonum compositum var. compositum

Tall Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum

Strict Buckwheat: Eriogonum strictum ssp. proliferum

Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia perfoliata ssp. intermontana - In bud.

Erubescent Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia rubra ssp. depressa - In bud.

* Chickweed: Stellaria media - A few plants in bloom.

Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum - Leaves only.

* Little Western Bittercres: Cardamine oligosperma - Blooming adjacent to the picnic shelter at the Crawford Oaks Trailhead.

* Spring Whitlow-grass: Draba verna var. boerhaavii - Becoming numerous.

* Scale Pod: Idahoa scapigera

* Fringepods: Thysanocarpus curvipes

* Smooth Prairie Stars: Lithophragma glabrum

* Northwestern Saxifrage: Micranthes fragosa

Mock Orange: Philadelphus lewisii

Black Hawthorn: Crataegus douglasii

Bittercherry: Prunus emarginata var. emarginata

Small-flowered Lupine: Lupinus latifolius X sericeus (Synonym: Lupinus latifolius var. thompsonianus) - Leaves emerging from the ground.

Prairie Lupine: Lupinus lepidus var. aridus - Leaves only.

Velvet Lupine: Lupinus leucophyllus - Dried stems and leaves of last year's plants.

* Filaree: Erodium cicutarium - One plant in bloom.

Blazing Star: Mentzelia laevicaulis - Dry stems from last year's bloom.

* Pungent Desert Parsley: Lomatium grayi

* Slender Desert Parsley: Lomatium laevigatum

* Large-fruit Biscuitroot: Lomatium macrocarpum

* Barestem Desert Parsley: Lomatium nudicaule - A few plants in bloom.

* Salt and Pepper: Lomatium piperi - A few plants mixed in with Lomatium gormanii.

* Nine-leaf Desert Parsley: Lomatium triternatum var. triternatum - Still only leaves.

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa - Not in bloom.

Ball-head Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. thompsonii - Leaves only.

Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. hastata - Basal leaves only.

Slender Popcornflower: Plagiobothrys tenellus - Leaves.

Henbit: Lamium amplexicaule - In bud.

Common Monkeyflower: Erythranthe guttata

Cutleaf Penstemon: Penstemon richardsonii var. richardsonii

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium

Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea x careyana - One plant observed with leaves emerging from the ground.

Rush Skeletonweed: Chondrilla juncea

Chicory: Cichorum intybus

Wavyleaf Thistle: Cirsium undulatum - Only leaves.

* Gold Stars: Crocidium multicaule - Fairly numerous, probably near their peak bloom in the lower half of the park.

Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa


Animals Seen Along This Route:

California Ground Squirrels

Coyote

Mule Deer herd

Bald Eagles

Red-tailed Hawks

Western Meadowlarks

Common Ravens

Magpies

Scrub Jays

Lewis' Woodpeckers

Northern Flickers

Says Phoebes

American Robins

Western Bluebirds

Spotted Towhee

Horned Larks


Paul Slichter