month we will highlight a different beautiful wildflower found on the Forest Farm.
This month, Asclepsias speciosa,
the Milkweed family is considered
to be a weed, this member is both beautiful
and beneficial to wildlife.
Monarch butterfly larvae feed solely
We love seeing masses of Monarchs
sweep in on the milkweed clusters.
The Showy Milkweed grows about
three feet tall and reproduces
both by seed and underground rootstock.
The leaves are lovely,
as well as the flower clusters
which appear in June as pinkish umbels
which open into
of individual flowers.
The leaves are gracefully shaped,
about six inches long,
grayish-green & covered with fine, soft hairs.
is a favorite source
of food for bees,
as well as butterflies.
|Red -flowering Currant
Ribes sanguineum Members of the Gooseberry family,
the Red-flowering Currant
is a beautiful and useful Oregon native
leaves which turn yellow in autumn.
Flower clusters appear in March or April
and bloom untill June with colors
from red to rose, pink and white.
They are a source of food for bees,
hummingbirds and butterflies.
are blue-black and ripen
from June to August
providing a long-term food supply
beavers, raccoons and deer.
Deer also browse twigs and foliage.
Other Lovely members
or Lily family in bloom"
Elegant Mariposa Lily, Calochortus elegans
is an unusual Oregon native.
It grows in areas that have serpentine soils
and are found in openings in mixed
woodland/forests at 1,000- 2,000 foot elevations.
The plant is only about 6" tall with a single
grasslike leaf. It has one to four flowers
per plant that are 1-1 1/ 2" wide and densely
hairy inside, pale blue to lavender in color.
They are sometimes called Cat's Ears due
to their furry look inside the flower.
The Trillium, or Wake Robin, blooms very early
beginning in February, often
lasting until June.
We are just saying goodbye to them for this year.
It is found in wooded areas and along streambanks.
The Trillium has three large ovate leaves with
a single white
or maroon flower in the center.
Giant Trillium, Trillium chloropetalum
stands 12"-16" tall with very large 8" leaves.
It grows in dense patches in shady moist areas.
Klamath Trillium, Trillium rivale,
also grows in shady, moist areas and has large leaves.
It has a stem between the leaves and blossom.
Western Trillium, Trillium ovatum,
is the most common trillium and stands only
4"-6" tall with 2"-4" leaves.
A Special Thank You!
While a great deal of time is spent
with reference books and online databases
to determine the classification
for each lovely flower...
We would like to extend a very special thank you
to Lady Bird Johnson's Wildflower Center
at the University of Texas at Austin.
The folks at Mr. Smarty Plants
have been an invaluable resource
for their assistance and interest-
as well as their incredible expertise
in identifying our more unusual flower species!
Visit their site at:
Other lovely flowers
Members of the Boraginaceae family, this Bluebell is an unusual Oregon native. It can grow in areas that are rocky
and dry. Its leaf is somewhat thick with tiny teeth and the leaves clasp the stem. The flowers develop in clusters at the
end of leaf stalks and can be pale blue to deep purple.
Mosquito bill Shootingstar
Members of the Primrose family, the various subspecies of Dodecatheon spp. have varied leaves
and differences in their flower. Shootingstars are easily identified, but figuring out the subspecies takes work.
The Mosquito bill shootingstar has round leaves with untoothed margins
that sit on the ground with a bare stem carrying the flowers. .
Long-tailed Wild Ginger
A member of the Aristolochiaceae, or Birthwort family, this peculiar little flower is well-hidden by heart-shaped
leaves that grow in pairs. The flower has a maroon bowl shaped base with three long "tails" and has
an odd carrion scent.