Spring in Central Oregon has been wet and wonderful! Yes, I felt like I was back in Eugene, but for desert dwellers, we can’t complain about the rain. It’s produced some lovely wildflowers on my property, some of which I’ve never seen before.
Here is a photo tour, and I hope to update this post with all the names of all these specimens, but for now, please enjoy the beauty. Over the next week, I’ll be working with the kids on creating a nature journal with the proper designations for each flower. I don’t have in hand a Central Oregon Wildflower book, but I’ll pick one up tomorrow.
First up, this pretty long-stemmed flower was discovered by my daughter growing amongst the sage.
This gorgeous lavender colored wildflower appeared in a few different locations, and has a short blooming season. I believe it’s called a “phacelia,” and it almost seems to glow.
Next, I almost stepped on this miniature deep purple-petaled beauty. It’s called a monkeyflower. It was all by itself, I believe the only one I saw. Barely a stem, it seemed to have sprouted straight from the grains of sand.
Another low-growing flower called Bitter-Root was discovered near some volcanic rock. This specimen was confined to a small area, and only grew next to the moss-covered stones. It’s the closest thing to a desert rose on my property. There were both white and pinkish varieties. Traditionally the roots were peeled, then cooked and eaten, or dried for future use by the natives.
This was an interesting white daisy, with only three distinct petals at this point. Isn’t it pretty? It might be a blackfoot daisy. I wish there were enough to pick a bouquet and place on my kitchen table, but as with all the wildflowers here in my desert, they show up as a rarity with a bountiful rain, so I leave them where I find them. We go out for hikes nearly every day, so I do get to enjoy them while they last!
I almost missed this next bunch of pink blooms with yellow centers, but luckily I had my children’s eyes. Lower to the ground – perhaps this is why they seem to uncover more than I do? These are Mohave Asters.
Ah, I loved this next one before I found out what it was, the first wildflower I saw this spring! The tall blades it grows within, the puffy oblong yellow cluster of blooms, reminds me of a tiny version of the yuccas I grew up with in Arizona. But it’s HIGHLY POISONOUS! Yes, it’s called Death Camas, and for good reason. Beautiful to behold, deadly to ingest.
The final bunch of wildflowers I discovered were the brightest yellow delicate tassels near the edge of the cliff. These are called “Oregon sunshine” and it’s a terrifically happy flower! Each petal was like a spike, each flower beginning with arms reaching straight to heaven, then slowly opening as the day unfolds.
I hope you enjoyed my Central Oregon wildflower tour. We are blessed with such beauty in our backyard.
“…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.” Mt. 6:28.