The photo above shows a close-up of a flower head and foliage of Columbia goldenweed as seen on basalt cliffs along Highway 14 just west of Horsethief Butte. Note the resinous appearance of the leaves and bracts.
Columbia goldenweed is a many-branched shrub to 6 dm tall. The twigs are brittle and resinous. The leaves are hairless or glabrous, resinous, and primarily lenear. They range from 5- 30 mm in length and 0.5 - 2 mm wide.
The flower heads are either solitary or packed into fairly dense clusters of flowers at the ends of the branches. The flowerheads consist of both disk and ray flowers. The ray flowers number from 3 - 7 and are from 3 - 6 mm in length. The ray flowers are usually pale yellow or white. Occasionally flower heads may lack the ray flowers. The disk flowers number from 11 - 16, are whitish to pale yellow and are about 5 - 7.5 mm long. While in bloom from July through October, it is a fairly attractive plant with its dense, shiny leaves and stems, and mass of flowers.
Columbia goldenweed is found on cliffs and in rock crevices. It is especially abundant on the near vertical faces of basalt cliffs. It is a plant of rocky areas within the plains and foothills, but may be found as high as 6000 feet on the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains.
Columbia goldenweed is found east of the Cascade crest in Washington and northern Oregon. Its range extends into central and northern Idaho.
In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found on cliffs above the river from roughly adjacent to Mosier, OR and then east at elevations between 100'-1800'.