Hillsides of blooming bear grass. Mountain meadows filled with glacier lilies. When wildflowers are in full bloom, the result can be breath-taking–even a swampy lowland filled with skunk cabbage.

Identifying orchids in North Idaho

The orchids in North Idaho aren’t as spectacular as tropical orchids but they have their own attractiveness. Some of the orchid flowers are so small they may not be recognized as orchids at first. Orchids are among the most specialized flowers. They have three sepals and three petals but the…

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Skunk cabbage true to its name

Whether the winter is short or long, the first flower is a joyful sight–even if its name is skunk cabbage. The bright yellow flowers emerge before the leaves, so spotting them is easy if you look in the right places. Swamps, bog edges, sloughs, moist forests, along streams and other…

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Magnitude of beargrass blooms unpredictable

While on the Parker Ridge trail below Parker Peak last summer, I rounded a corner and was surprised by the hundreds of beargrass blooms filling the avalanche chute in front of me. The magnitude of blooms was the largest I had ever seen and one I won’t forget. Will the…

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White wildflowers blooming everywhere

Early spring wildflowers, such as trilliums, are blooming at higher elevations as the snow recedes and the ground warms. At lower elevations summer wildflowers are blooming including several with white flowers. Starry Solomon’s Seal, false Solomon’s Seal, wild sarsaparilla, mariposa and Queen’s cup are some of our white wildflowers. Starry…

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April showers bring May wildflowers

The saying “April showers bring May flowers” certainly rings true this year. After several days of rain followed by 70 degree weather, spring flowers are popping open everywhere including wildflowers. Depending on the location, some of the following wildflowers may already be blooming or will be blooming soon. Small-flowered woodland…

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Spring wildflowers bring first splash of color

As the weather warms, signs of spring are everywhere–green grass, emerging larch needles and spring wildflowers. The burst of color from spring wildflowers is a welcome sight after winter. There are several wildflowers to look for as the snow melts and the days become warmer, most notably the western trillium,…

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