[Currently Blooming Wildflowers] [Pacific Northwest Wildflowers]

Currently Blooming Wildflowers in the Eastern Columbia River Gorge

Early September, 1997

September is still a good time to view wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge. Some 60 species may be seen throughout the gorge, but the regions east of Hood River and White Salmon offer fewer flowers in bloom at this time of year. If lucky, one may still find about 30 species in this easterly region. At this time of year, the flowers in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae) dominate. One may find several species of Asters, Gray and Green Rabbitbrush, Chicory, Match Brush (Gutierrezia sarothrae), several species of Goldenweed (Haplopappus resinosus & H. hallii), Hoary Aster (Machaeranthera canescens), several Goldenrods (Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea, and S. occidentalis), Common Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium), Sneezeweed (Helenium atumnale), and numerous species of sagebrush (Artemisia species), such as Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata).

Those wildflowers which aren't part of the Sunflower family that may be viewed include Arum-leaf Arrowhead Wapato (Sagittaria cuneata), Broad-leaf ARrowhead Wapato, several of the Knotweeds (Polygonum species), Common Silverweed (Potentilla anserina), Musk Monkey Flower (Mimulus moschatus), and Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium) and Wild Tobacco (Nicotiana acuminata).

Locations for viewing September wildflowers in the Gorge include: the beaches at Dalton Point (1 mile west of Multnomah Falls), Rooster Rock State Park, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, The Dalles Dam Visitor Center, The Dalles Riverside Park, and the Deschutes River Park. Many of the species in bloom at this time are riparian, growing along the mudddy shores of the Columbia River, so any location offering safe access to the river would be fair game for exploration.

Beware at this time of year of the ever increasingly aggressive yellow jackets, and although the fire danger in the gorge is not excessively high at this time (Sept. 8), the drying easterly winds of September and October can change that in a hurry!

Paul Slichter