Check out the spring ephemerals we found on our hike to John’s Last Stand on Saturday! Many of these wildflowers will disappear after a soil disturbance event such as commercial logging.
Calypso bulbosa (Fairy slipper or calypso orchid) is pollinated by bumble bees. It has a symbiotic relationship with a specific mycorrhizal fungus in the soil which makes it hard to transplant and sensitive to disturbance–it is only found in native montane forests such as John’s Last Stand. The corms (bulbs) were a food source for indigenous people of this bioregion.
Trillium ovatum (Western White Trillium) is a no-pick species in Oregon because it is slow to propagate via its rhizomes and has limited dispersal via seeds. The seeds take a long time to mature after the flower senesces and are only dispersed short distances by ants. The flowers change from white to purple as they age.
Synthris reniformis (Snow queen) is one of the first flashes of color seen on the forest floor after the snow melt. It is native to the west Cascade mountains.
Viola sp. (violet) is another common native found in the Pacific Northwest. It’s flowers and leaves are edible (in small quantities) and its close relative Viola odorata is valued by some an herbal medicine.
Cardamine nuttallii (Spring Beauty or Oaks toothwort) grows in deep humus soils in moist mid- to low-elevation forests on the Cascadia bioregion.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for our next public hike! Photos by Gabe Lent.