Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Parade of wildflowers

I went walking today and decided to photograph every wildflower I saw. June is the height of wildflower season here in north Idaho, and despite the continuing chilly weather (55F as a high yesterday!-- though we're finally heading into a warmer spell), the flowers are blooming in abundance.

I think I have these flowers all identified correctly. If I'm mistaken on any, feel free to correct me.


Tufted elk weed (it grows to about four feet in height).

Not to be confused with the violently poisonous false hellbore.

Ninebark bush.





This isn't groundsel, that much I know (notice the broad leaves at the base). Any ideas?

Wild strawberry.

Wild roses (they're all over the place this time of year).

White clover.

Red clover.



Hoary cress.

Bird vetch.

American vetch.

Oxeye daisy. I love daisies so much I had them in my wedding bouquet.

The name of this flower is just on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember. Notice the gray-green stem and leaves. Anyone?


Buttercup (Ranunculus).

Arrow-leaved balsamroot, just at the tail end of blooming.

Heartleaf arnica.

Fool's onion (blurry, sorry).


Western blue flax (I had mistakenly called this chicory, thank you to readers for the correction).

Ponderosa pine. Obviously this is a gymnosperm and not an angiosperm, but what the heck, it's pretty.

Wild onion, I think. (Or Prairie Smoke, per a reader.)


Wild mustard.


Curly dock (Rumex).

Sheep sorrel (Rumex).

This is orange hawk weed, a pretty cousin to the loathsomely hated yellow hawk weed.

Yellow hawk weed. This is an invasive pest that is not eaten by livestock or wildlife.

It can only be controlled by spraying, otherwise it literally takes over entire fields and crowds out everything else, making pastureland virtually unusable.

Hawk weed aside, it was a lovely day for a walk, and what a treat to see the wildflowers.


  1. We love your wildflowers! Quite a few grow here in northwest Arizona, too. We're at 4,000', so we get the high desert flowers as well as mountain flowers. What surprises us is how many different types of daisies there are! As for the flowers with the broad leaves at the base that you don't think are groundsel, we were wondering if they could be a species of Encelia? Possibly Brittle Bush or Acton? Thank you for sharing your pix! --Fred & Deb in AZ

  2. your hawk weed looks exactly like the flower we have in southern michigan which I call indians paintbrush which i HAVE BEEN TRYING TO ENCOURAGE TO GROW, oh my gosh I guess I had better do a bit of reading up on that.!KAREN

    1. No no, Indian paintbrush is NOT the same as hawkweed! Feel free to encourage paintbrush to grow, it's a beautiful flower.

      - Patrice

  3. Lovely flower pictures thank you for taking us for a walk through your area.

  4. Beautiful! Thank you for the pictures.

  5. Not chicory. Do not know what it is, but I do know that it is not chicory. Chicory flowers have a double row of small petals. I know it well, it was very pretty at first, until it literally took over our "yard" at our former house.

    1. I think it's actually flax. It will definitely take over a space. The more common color is blue, but it can also be found in red.

  6. The first is a trumpet vine. I know because I had that dang thing all over a fence in the first house we ever rented during the worst time of our married life LOL Sooooo, needless to say, I dislike trumpet vines immensly. :)

  7. You have a lot of knowledge and some lovely landscape to walk through. Thanks for sharing it with us. :o)

  8. The purple flower is not Chicory it is Flax.

  9. you're "wild onion' is actually Prairie Smoke, one of my favorites;).

  10. Your mystery plant appears to be St.Johns Wort. Not nearly as invasive as hawkweed (either color variation), but still needs controlled. Your ninebark photo looks suspiciously like thimble berry, ninebark has a beautiful feathery bloom.

    Wild geraniums are still blooming after all of the rain we've had lately, look for grassy openings along the treeline, or better yet, find a remnant of the original prairie that was too rocky to farm. They have many native flowers and grasses.

    1. Duh, you're right, I'd forgotten about St. John's wort, and goodness knows we have tons of it around here. However I believe you're mistaking ninebark with oceanspray. We have lots of both kinds of bushes, but the oceanspray blooms a little bit later (see this link for oceanspray photos:
      http://www.bentler.us/eastern-washington/plants/shrubs/ocean-spray.aspx )

      Oceanspray is one of my favorite bushes. The way to tell the difference before they bloom (besides the leaf shape, of course) is ninebark has a sort of shaggy, raggety-looking bark.

      - Patrice