Animals

Select 28 Beautiful Wildflowers You’ll Find in the Pacific Northwest

Some could even claim that the world’s most beautiful place is the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It has old-growth pine forests, rainy, laid-back weather, some of the most beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, and even some volcanic monuments. Furthermore, this region of the country is home to an enormous diversity of wildflowers. Continue reading to find out more about these 28 stunning wildflowers that grow in the Pacific Northwest.

1. Scarlet Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

The Scarlet Columbine, or Acquilegia formosa, is the first species on our list. This wildflower has open branches and can reach a height of two to three feet. Other common names for it include the Red Columbine, the Crimson Columbine, and the Western Columbine. When this flower is in bloom, which is from April to August, is the greatest time of year to see it. The scarlet columbine is distinguished by its petals, which have spurs in yellow and crimson. The plant is bushy and has numerous stalks. Hummingbirds are attracted to this plant, and the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people enjoyed the sweet nectar of the scarlet columbine.

2. Hairy Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza hookeri)

This wildflower of the Pacific Northwest is also called Hooker’s Balsamroot, and it has sunflower-like flowers at the end of its stem. These are multipetalled, broad golden flowers. The genuine flower has a width of two to three inches. Their woody taproot gives rise to leafless stems that can range in length from 4 to 12 inches. April through July is the greatest time to see them in flower. William Jackson Hooker, the originator of the “Journal of Botany” and director of Kew Gardens, is honored with the moniker Hairy Balsamroot.

3. Elegant Mariposa Lily (Calochortus elegans)

The clustered white and purple blossoms that distinguish the tiny Elegant Mariposa Lily plant are its defining feature. The leaf protruding over it is longer than the cluster. This wildflower has twisted, slender stems. It usually stands eight inches or less tall. The best time to see this flower in full bloom is from May to July, when its stunning white and purple blossoms are displayed.

4. Yellow Mariposa Lily (Calochortus luteus)

The Yellow Mariposa Lily is a simple to recognize flower, with a huge yellow blossom at the end of the stalk and only one to four petals on top that flash red in the center. Nonetheless, they are tall, growing to a maximum height of 20 inches. The petals are bell-shaped, becoming narrower at the base and larger at the top, identifying it as a Yellow Mariposa Lily as well. Enjoy them at any time between April and July when they bloom!

5. Common Camass (Camassia quamash)

The Common Camass, also called the Swamp Sego, is another exquisite wildflower that grows across the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Their violet stems with a yellow tip emerging from the middle of their blue and violet blossoms serve as a distinguishing feature. They have small clusters of vivid green leaves close to their base. They also have the potential to reach heights of one to three feet. The bulbs would be pit-roasted by Native Americans and combined with other leaves. They could use the sweet syrup that this process produced. Another exceedingly common wildflower that can occasionally cover an entire meadow is the common camass! The months of April through June are the greatest times to see these gorgeous blooms.

6. Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium ssp. angustifolium)

Called variously as Fireweed, Narrow-leaf Fireweed, and Willow Herb, these wildflowers that thrive in the sun are found throughout the Pacific Northwest. These wildflowers can surpass other plants in height, reaching heights of 3 to 5 feet. Their stems are often reddish-purple in color, with alternating leaves, and a cluster of pink, white, and purple flowers at the top. The four petals on these blooms are only an inch across. June through September are the greatest months to see fireweed. It’s difficult to notice this wildflower’s height!

7. Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

The Pipsissewa wildflower grows to a height of four inches and is native to the Pacific Northwest. These blooms are truly only available in July and August. Their characteristic evergreen leaves encircling the stems and their end-of-the-stem white and pink blossoms serve as telltale signs. Pipsissewa typically has five petals, and little, two-group clusters that resemble stems emerge from the base of the petals.

8. Farewell To Spring (Clarkia amoena)

The Farewell To Spring wildflower is an annual, which means that it develops, blooms, and then withers away in a single year. Spring has come to an end, and summer wildflowers are here to stay. June, July, and August are the finest months to observe them. You will be astounded by this flower’s cup-shaped white, pink, and purple blossoms when you encounter it in the summer. It features slender leaves along its stem and can reach a height of one to three feet. Fun fact: William Clark of Lewis and Clark legend is honored by the genus name, which is the first part of the scientific name. In the early 1800s, these two explorers were in charge of a journey across the Northwest.

9. Mountain Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium montanum)

One of the most unusual-looking flowers on our list is the Mountain Lady’s Slipper wildflower. These orchid family members can be recognized by the characteristic flowers at the top of a cluster of stems. One to three blossoms grow forth from a white bulb that is the flower, known as the “slipper.” When in bloom, they have a yellow leaf in the center of the flower and are purple, white, green, and somewhat reddish. They bloom from February through September and can reach a height of approximately two feet.

10. Giant Hellebore (Epipactis gigantea)

The multicolored Giant Hellebore is a wildflower native to the Pacific Northwest and another member of the orchid family. This 4.5-foot-tall wildflower blooms from March to August. A solitary, symmetrical flower with pink splotches on its petals that sits atop a cluster of green-brown stems is how you can distinguish a giant hellebore wildflower in addition to its height. You might even notice orange, yellow, and purple accentuating it when it’s fully blossomed. Another name for the Giant Hellebore is the Chatterbox Orchid. The lower portion of the flower may move in response to contact, giving the impression that it is speaking.

11. Tall Cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium)

The Tall Cottongrass is another type of wildflower found in the Pacific Northwest. This wildflower is particularly difficult to miss because it lacks petals, or perianth. Rather, a cluster of two to eight white, cottony heads grows at the top of the bunch of stems. These seemingly cottony heads are actually the petals of even tinier flowers. The distinctive features of Tall Cottongrass are its green stems with a brownish tone and white tips. They bloom from April through June and grow to a height of around three feet.

12. Yellow Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium grandiflorum)

As the snow melts, Yellow Dogtooth Violets frequently blossom. It brings with it the promise of spring and summer. April through July is the viewing season for this brilliant yellow wildflower. They are typically found in open meadows and wooded areas, reaching a height of up to 18 inches. Their optimistic yellow blooms carry the happiness of spring with them when they open. These wildflowers are distinguished by their long, thick stems that dangle two or three basal leaves. One to five petals usually make up the bright yellow bloom at the top, with red, white, or orange anthers in the center. In the Pacific Northwest, yellow dogtooth violet wildflowers are frequently found growing in wide swaths.

13. Common Woolly Sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum)

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, this wildflower is frequently found by roadside ditches and in dry climates. They are usually shorter, though they can grow to a height of 40 inches. Because of how many of these wildflowers are present in the area, they are quite easy to spot. Their long, multibranched stems are topped with sunflower-like yellow flowers that serve as a distinguishing feature. Woolly white leaves develop on these branches. April through September is the peak blooming season for Common Woolly Sunflowers. Fun fact: because it brightens the areas it usually blooms in, they have earned the moniker Oregon Sunshine.

14. White Avalanche-lily (Erythronium montanum)

Alpine and subalpine forests and meadows are home to the stunning, chalky White Avalanche-lily, another wildflower that blooms once the snow starts to melt. This wildflower blooms from June to August and covers entire meadows. Typically, the flower that grows along the scape has six white petals with a yellow dot in the middle. They reach a maximum height of 14 inches.

15. California Gold Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Due to their abundance, one of the most well-liked wildflowers is the California Gold Poppy, which is frequently included in wildflower bunches and assortments. The blooms only emerge on sunny days and fluctuate in color, usually from orange to yellow. A rich orange hue may be seen at the petal’s base. They are frequently seen in wide, open, grassy places in full bloom from February through October. Ultimately, they frequently reach a height of roughly two feet. This wildflower has a fun fact: although it is native to the Mojave Desert, it may be found in thirty states, including the coastal regions of Oregon and Washington.

16. Yellow Missionbells (Fritillaria pudica)

Yellow missionbells are in full flower from March to June. With a yellow bell-shaped blossom hanging from the top, these perennial wildflowers grow to a height of approximately one foot. The green stem normally has few or no leaves, and it usually only has one flower at the top of the stem. Occasionally, though, the blossom is subtended by leaves. The wildflower will eventually fade to a reddish-purplish hue.

17. Mountain Iris (Iris douglasiana)

The Mountain Iris, a member of the Iris family, is a frequent wildflower in the Redwood region. It is found growing along the coast from Santa Barbara, California, to Coos County, Oregon. The Mountain Iris often produces blue or violet flowers during its entire bloom season, which runs from March to June, however this might vary. The flower’s hue can occasionally vary from yellow to a reddish purple. The Mountain Iris has dark, evergreen leaves that sprout from the rhizome and reach a maximum height of two feet.

18. Coastal Tidytips (Layia platyglossa)

The stems of coastal tidytips grow along the ground, making them prostrate wildflowers. Their maximum length is 28 inches. Light-green leaves emerge from the branches, and the blooms rest on them. These blooms somewhat resemble daisy flowers in appearance. This wildflower’s petals are dark yellow down their length, with white tips. The greatest months to see coastal tidytips are February through July. The seeds from this wildflower of the Pacific Northwest are highly prized by birds.

19. Wild Tiger Lily (Lilium columbianum)

Wild Tiger Lily is yet another extremely well-liked wildflower. Because of their distinctive appearance, they are frequently transplanted in residential gardens. This plant has leafy stalks that can reach a height of about six feet! Under ideal circumstances, the Wild Tiger Lily will have at least 12 pale orange blossoms at the tip of its stalk. The petals of these flowers are covered with reddish-maroon dots. The Pacific Northwest is exquisitely illuminated by the full bloom of the wild tiger lily, which occurs from May to September.

20. Miniature Annual Lupine (Lupinus bicolor)

This annual, growing to a height of 16 inches, is a mainstay in the Pacific Northwest. Its whorls of white and violet blossoms cover its clustered stalk. It has a hairy, greenish stem. This wildflower belongs to the Fabaceae family of peas. It is estimated that the oldest lupine flower is 10,000 years old. See this lovely wildflower in its brightest blue and violet hue from May to June.

21. Meadow Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

This amazing wildflower stands a whopping five feet tall! The Meadow Lupine is a plant that blooms only in May and likes damp, moist conditions. It can be recognized by its amazing height and flowering purple, pink, and blue blooms. Its unbranched stem is covered in deep green foliage, and violet-blue pea blooms grow all the way up it. At three to five feet tall on average, the Meadow Lupine is among the tallest of its kind. It is unmissable!

22. American Skunkcabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

This perennial, sometimes known as the Swamp Lantern wildflower, has a unique appearance. Its flower is incredibly unique: a cluster of green and yellow florets merge and open on one side, revealing a longer, seed-covered stem. This five-foot-tall wildflower, which is most visible from February to May, is undoubtedly one of the list’s more visually striking blooms. Fun fact: Because of the scent of the sap it emits, it is also known as American Skunk Cabbage. Additionally, this blossom was baked by Native Americans and consumed during the winter.

23. Mountain Pride (Penstemon newberryi)

The Mountain Pride wildflower is a common sight along roadside patches throughout the Pacific Northwest and the West. Its leafy stalk bears red, pink, and purplish blooms. Typically, every bloom faces one direction or is oriented in one direction only. They are most visible in the summer, from May to August, and can reach a height of approximately one foot. They favor stony environments.

24. Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa)

The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of these star-shaped flowers. Beautiful blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white bloom at the top of the leafy stalks of the Spreading Phlox wildflower. This flower’s mats, which are covered with yellow-green leaves, blanket the ground. They resemble needles but are not at all prickly. Since the blossoms usually cover the rest of the plant, they are frequently buried by the sheer volume of flowers that adorn this wildflower. The Spreading Phlox reaches a maximum height of only six inches and is in full bloom from March through August.

25. Pink Mountain Heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis)

Wide mats of Pink Mountain Heather develop at the base of the plant. Unlike the Spreading Phlox, their foliage is coated with evergreen leaves and is actually needle-like and spiky. The pink blossoms at the top of the flower are easily recognized since the flower has a bell-like shape. They are pink and purple in hue, grow in clusters at the apex of the stem. These stunning wildflowers can reach a height of 20 inches from June to August.

26. California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus)

A member of the buttercup family, Ranunulaceae, is the California buttercup. These multipetaled, yellow wildflowers are easily recognized by their shrub-like appearance and prolific growth throughout the Pacific Northwest. The flower stalk of the California buttercup rises while the plant grows flat on the ground. They bloom from January to August and can grow up to two feet in length.

27. Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)

The Pacific Rhododendron is one of the tallest wildflowers on this list, reaching heights of up to 15 feet. Large whorls of leaves surround the evergreen shrub, which holds pink and purple bell-shaped blooms. It’s the most prevalent wildflower on our list and can be found in large quantities in Oregon. The Pacific Rhododendron grows in vast quantities through the coastal woodlands from April to July.

28. Western Turkeybeard (Xerophyllum tenax)

The Western Turkeybeard is the last wildflower on this list. There are numerous names for this wildflower, including Bear Lily, Elk Grass, Squaw Grass, and Pine Lily. The Western Turkeybeard reaches a maximum height of six feet during flowering. The evergreen leaves that envelop the flower stalk are overgrown by the bloom stalk itself. The ideal time to see the clustered bunch of white blooms on the flower stalk is from March to August. Interesting fact about the Western Turkeybeard: The leaves of this wildflower were used by Native Americans to construct various clothing items and baskets!