Wildflowers in Oregon's Outback
There are many places to go if you want to see wildflowers. Even in the desert there is a surprising number of wildflowers. The range of climates in Lake County provides a perfect and varied environment for observing these beautiful wonders of nature.
Photo by Paul E. Denny.
More Info: Fremont National Forest "Plants of the Fremont National Forest" Photos by E. Lasater unless otherwise noted.
Common Yarrow is a wildflower that was, and still is, used in teas or for medicinal purposes. It can be found growing in a wide range of climates and habitats. It is drought resistant, which makes it a perfect canidate for some areas of Lake County.
Yarrow is easily identified by its soft, fern-like leavs and clusters of white flowers. Although at first glance it does not resemble a sunflower, it is a member of the same family. The golden yarrow more closely resembles its sunflower cousins.
The camas blooms thickly during the late spring and early summer. Marshy fields turn purple during the height of their bloom.
The larkspur is a beautiful flower often seen in gardens. In Lake County, it grows wild scattered throughout the high desert area. It is a member of the buttercup family and ranges in color from white to dark purple. It blooms starting in late April through May.
This member of the mallow family was found at Bull Prarie in the Warner Mountains.
A wild geranium has flower similar to that of the mallow, but the seed pods of the geranium are unique in that they resemble a long bird's beak.
When the name "orchid" is mentioned, one might conjure up mental images of tropical islands, or expensive hot house flowers. However, the delicate Cascade Crane Orchid can be found growing in moist meadow areas in Lake County. These were growing in a spring-filled meadow close to Mud Creek Campground in the Warner Mountains.
Elephant Head Flower
It's clear to see how the elephant heads received their name. The distinctive flowers can usually be found growing in the same moist meadow conditions as wild orchids. Perhaps this flower gave inspiration for songs about pink elephants.
It's hard to imagine the large, delicious strawberries we buy in the market originated from the tiny wild strawberry. They commonly grow amoung pine nettles in alpine regions. The fruit is a favorite treat for many birds and animals and, as a result, the mature berries can be very hard to find.
The blazing star is one of the most exotic-looking wild flowers you'll find in Lake County. They grow on a delicate, light green bush-like plant that bears many flowers. They love sandy or moderatly rocky areas and, in certain areas, are common along roadsides. This plant was growing just off of the road near Deep Creek Falls.