Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wildflower Walk-about

Hello friends, today I would like to take you 
on a wildflower walk-about! 

These are some of the beautiful wildflowers that 
are growing on my property, here in the 
foothills of western Washington State. 

This little beauty is called Western Trumpet Honeysuckle. 

Here Ramblin' Man shows size comparison to his hand. 

This sweet flowering vine is attractive to Hummingbirds. 

It is found in dry, open forests along the west coast
from Vancouver Island to California. 

This pretty ground-cover is called 'Enchanter's-Nightshade'. 
It forms large, perennial colonies of tender leaves
with tiny white flowers in spring, and grows 
in cool, damp forests from western Alaska to Oregon. 

Another wildflower that is a source of nectar
for hummingbirds is Cooley's Hedge-Nettle, 
a member of the mint family. 

These grow 12-18" tall in open, moist woods
and thickets. 

They are one of my favorites :) 

These little bells are known as 'Fringecup'. 
They are perennial and very fragrant. 
They are very similar to Coral Bells - with 
flower wands that rise from hairy, veined basal leaves. 

The whole plant is attractive and forms large colonies
in open clearings in low to middle elevations. 

We are at 1200' elevation. 

My very scientific guidebook says this : "Fringecup was said to be
eaten by woodland elves to improve night vision"! 

Do you see any elves? 

This pretty little wildflower is called 'Herb Robert'. 

It is a wild geranium with an unpleasant odor, 
commonly called 'Stinky Bob' :) 

The guide says that the name is so ancient that
no one is quite sure where it came from. 
An introduced Eurasian weed 
the name dates all the way back to the Duke of Normandy
 or possibly Rudbert of Salzburg of the 8th century. 

It is a biennial that forms a pretty ground-cover the first year
then flowers on upright, branched stems, the second year. 

Another pretty, pink perennial wildflower with lacy leaves
is Pacific Bleeding Heart. 

After flowering they form pod-like, oil-rich capsules
that are attractive to ants, which disperse the seeds. 

We have lots of berries here - this flower is Thimble Berry. 

These are low, thornless shrubs with large maple-like leaves. 

They form dense thickets through a network of rhizomes. 

The fruits are raspberry-like and were eaten by all 
northwest coast native peoples, 
frequently dried with other berries or smoked clams. 

The taste is rather bland, but the birds love them. 

Another pretty berry flower is Himalayan Blackberry. 

These are pink in shade and white in sun. 

These can be quite invasive and we have 
a job keeping them from taking over
in places. 

Here we let them grow alongside the drive, 
although Ramblin' Man has to keep order
every couple of years by cutting them back in winter. 

This interesting fuzzy, purple flower is called 
'Douglas Spirea' or 'Hardhack'. 

These grow on wiry, branching twigs that were used by 
coastal native peoples to make broom-like implements for 
collecting tubular marine dentalia shells. 

Dentalia shells were traded as far as the Great Plains
and were a form of currency among northwest coast peoples. 

You can see images of dentalia shells Here.

Another flowering shrub used by native coastal peoples
is Ocean Spray. The lacy flowers bloom on the tips
of long, arching twigs. This shrub is also called 'Ironwood'
because of the strength of its wood.

It was used to make spears and harpoon shafts,
bow and arrow shafts, halibut hooks, and even
needles and knitting needles by virtually all
coastal peoples.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the blooming native plants
growing here in the foothills
of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.

Thank you for coming along on my Wildflower Walk-about,
Dear Friends!

Which flower is your favorite?


Today I am linking with:

Flower Wednesday


Won't you join the fun? 


  1. You have a great variety of beautiful wild flowers there. What you call Fringecup looks like Tellima grandiflora. I have it too in my garden, it is not wild here though. My absolute favourite is the orange honeysuckle - just gorgeous!

    Enjoy your Midsummer week Karen & thanks for joining in FW!

    1. Hello Riitta, yes, it is the same.....the guide mentions Tellima as another name! It always amazes me how many wild plants here are actually from Europe. I'm sure the seeds were carried by gardeners of long ago, wishing to bring a little bit of home with them to a strange land. We have many in our community from your native lands here. Wishing you a lovely day and thank you for sharing! x Karen

  2. Karen, I wish I could take this walk for real!
    Thanks for sharing

  3. The wild flowers are very pretty. They may be small but when we take time to look at them, they are really pretty. Great mountain view.

  4. Dear Karen, thank you for taking us with you for this wonderful walk and showing us all those beautiful wild flowers!
    Have a lovely week,
    sending Love and hugs and blessings, and enjoy the nature arround your sweet home!
    take care, Claudia xo

  5. Dearest Karen,
    I wish I could walk by your side ... what a wonderful walk !
    You know, I'm so amazed at watching how different your wildflowers, compared with ours, are, here we have just 'Herb Robert', but I have to say that we're at a lower altitude ...

    Enjoy your day, today, sweetie, and the remainder of your week, as well,
    may it be joy-and-wonder filled,

    with love

    XX Dany

  6. Loved your darkened sky view!
    Your wild flowers are very beautiful. Have a wonderful day Karen :)

  7. Beautiful wildflowers! I think the honeysuckle is my favorite.

  8. The wildflowers in your neck of the woods are beautiful. My favourite is the Himalayan Blackberry.

  9. Fun to think that the Fringecup was useful to the elves!

  10. You certainly took us on a beautiful stroll, it was wonderful to see all the wild flowers. I particularly loved the fuzzy Hardhack, such an unusual one.

  11. Beautiful wildflowers! Thank you for the photos and interesting info!

  12. I also have Herb Robert growing every which place...I love it!!
    You certainly live in a beautiful part of your country...
    I always enjoy seeing your images of Washington State...
    enjoy your day Karen...
    Linda :o)

  13. what a great collection of beautiful wildflowers!! i am always amazed at how they grow and thrive with no care at all!! well, i guess mother nature is taking care of them!!!

    pretty, colorful captures, isn't it wonderful to be outdoors??!!

  14. Hello, your wildflowers look so pretty. The orange honeysuckle would be great to have here for my hummers. We do have a trumpet vine that looks similar that the hummers love. Your place is so lush and beautiful, gorgeous views.
    Happy Wednesday, I hope you have a great day!

  15. Hi Karen, loved going along on your walkabout. Your wildflowers are so pretty and I found their uses, by the coastal people, interesting. Do you live near the coast?

    1. Hi Laurie, thank you for stopping by! We live about 3 hours drive from the actual coast, but Puget Sound is only 45 minutes away. We would be considered a 'maritime' climate here, with the Cascade mountains trapping all the weather that comes in from the Pacific coast. Just on the other side of the mountains, it is very dry! x Karen

  16. So beautiful and so fun Karen! I love how you embrace learning about all the nature around you. It's wonderful learning more about these lovely flowers...and even the interesting history behind them. Just love it! ;)

  17. What sweet wildflowers you have there. We are about 3' above sea level. :-)

    Happy Summer ~ FlowerLady

  18. It was a wonderful wildflower walkabout to take with you!! I really enjoyed it. Thank you!

  19. Some very unusual flowers to our parts. I did recognise herb Robert . I love all the geranium species. I loved the Himalayan blackberry but I can imagine it getting invasive :). B X

  20. Gorgeous wildflowers! It's hard to pick a favorite, but I'll choose the honeysuckle because of its color and attractiveness to hummingbirds.

    One thing I did notice is that all the wildflowers seem to be in the pink-purple color range (except for the honeysuckle) although I believe I noticed some buttercups in one picture. Is that due to the elevation or moist climate??

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

    1. Hi Marilyn, always love when you stop by for a visit, my friend! I noticed the same thing.....maybe it is the cool, damp shade! Something we have an abundance of around here! Today it is pouring down rain :( xo Karen

  21. Lovely favorit is the last one...mountains <3
    I think my favorit wildflover is that Ocean Spray.....well every flower is pretty :)

  22. Hi dear Karen !! Que lindo la llegado en tu jardín con tan bellas flores !! Espero que tengas un buen día

  23. How pretty these all are and how nice you can see them all summer. I love the Ocean Spray. We have lots of different wild flowers in our wooded area specific to the northeast but when they invade my gardens I pull them out as weeds before they bloom. I am going to have to let them go to flowering sometime.

  24. I enjoyed my walk about your property, Karen. Thank you for all the information on the plants. Hmmmm...I believe my favorite of all was the bleeding hearts. 💕

  25. I really enjoyed seeing the flowers you have there. Some of them we see in NC but here in Florida...not many blooming now that it's so hot. Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

  26. Thanks for the tour Karen, it's so interesting to see what's happening in your neck of the woods! x

  27. Your walking adventures and photos are always such an inspiration, Karen.

  28. Love honeysuckles... always a joy to visit :-)


  29. Strolling through the woods sounds so inviting. Love all the wildflowers you are showing us Karen. Thanks for letting us tag along.
    Have a good day

  30. Hi Karen, What beautiful wildflowers you have to enjoy on your property. Such pretty blooms to see taking a walk. Love the variety of color and types. We also have a Trumpet vine growing on our garden arch. It can get wild showing up in other places and takes some controlling but love the pretty flowers and the attraction to hummers.
    Thanks for sharing and the beautiful views. Little piece of heaven for sure.
    Blessings for a nice weekend ahead. xo

  31. Thank you that you have taken us on your walk, Karen ! So many wonderful wildflowers to enjoy ! Greetings from Germany, Carmen

  32. These are beautiful! Such a wide variety of flowers!

  33. Beautiful wildflowers Karen! It's interesting to see that the lady in the bath is growing in wild in your woods. Such a lovely flower!

    Happy weekend ahead.

    Madelief x

  34. Hello sweet friend! As always, my time spent on your blog refreshes my heart and brings a smile to my face. I so enjoyed seeing your wildflowers as there were many that I have never seen before :)

    Enjoy the upcoming weekend! Love and hugs!

  35. Karen, you amaze me with your wealth of knowledge and love of nature. When it comes to remembering what flowers are called, my brain is a sieve. Truly, I can buy a plant today and literally forget what it's called before it's even planted. I only remember the basics, so I'm impressed!

    Have a lovely (hopefully no rain!) weekend.


  36. Dearest Karen,
    You certainly do have a lovely variety of wild flowers and most of them do behave well; except 'Stinky Bob'.
    Just pondering how ages ago indeed native Americans had to live from gathering berries or any edibles from the land they lived on.
    Sending you hugs for a happy weekend.

  37. What a beautiful and interesting post, Karen!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  38. Wow you have a wide assortment of wild flowers around, must be fun going around and checking them all out, my fav is the Himalayan Blackberry, I like the soft flower petals and the fuzzy centers they have


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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