Mt Hood Wildflowers
Posted by Betsy LaBarge | Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Each year from snowmelt to fall, Mt Hood blooms with a great variety of colorful wildflowers. Spectators visit the Villages of Mt Hood to hike and bike trails that are lined with blossoms of all kinds. Trillium Lake Loop Trail and Summit Meadow, at higher elevations like the Timberline Trail, and Elk Meadows are all great places to take in the sights. While there are too many types of wildflowers in the area to identify in just one blog post, here are eight of our favorites!
8 of our Favorite Mt Hood Wildflowers
#1 – Lupine
Mt Hood is absolutely one of the best places to see Lupine, with large patches covering the ground in many places. Lupine is one of those must-stop-and-photograph wildflowers that can transform whole hillsides into lovely hues of purple/blue. Lupine typically flowers from late May to early August.
#2 – Monkey Flower
Monkeyflower in a whimsical plant, with bright yellow blooms popping up from lush dark greenery. This tubular wildflower has small orange specks in the inside and elk and deer have been known to snack on it. Monkeyflower blooms from June through August.
#3 – Penstemon
Creeping Penstemon is part of a huge genus of flowering plants that can grow in a variety of conditions. You’ve likely seen some sort of penstemon alongside a roadway, on a mountain or elsewhere. Creeping Penstemon can grow to cover several feet in a carpet-like manner. These beauties range in color from lavender to pink and bloom from early to mid-summer.
#4 – Columbines
Columbines are an absolutely stunning flower with a very delicate composition. This flower’s name actually means “dove-like” in Latin, with many saying that they dance on the wind. Columbines can come in many different colors, most notably blue/white or red/yellow. Columbines typically bloom from June through August.
#5 – Spreading Phlox
Spreading Phlox is a fragrant, small flower that attracts butterflies and moths. This wildflower grows in a matt/carpet like way, sprouting up from curious and sandy slopes. It’s always magnificent to see a wildflower grow in unusual circumstances. Spreading Phlox typically blooms from late May to mid-June.
#6 – Yarrow
Yarrow is both a beautiful and useful wildflower. Yarrow grows between 10 and 40 inches tall, and small white flowers with light yellow centers sprout up amongst fern-like green foliage. This wildflower has a long history of medicinal use and is still used by outdoor enthusiasts today. Yarrow typically blooms from May through Septemeber.
#7 – Pussy-paws
Cistanthe umbellata is actually referred to as the Mount Hood pussy-paws, so you can imagine they are pretty popular around here! This small perennial herb blooms in round puffs at the end of a stem – giving them their “paw-like” appearance. You will often see them laying on the ground, growing from a small patch of greenery among rocky/sandy soil starting in May and all the way through August.
#8 – Huckleberry Blossoms
Okay, you caught us! This is the huckleberry plant (you know, the kind you can eat), but the flowers that come before the berries are beautiful. Huckleberries are very dense throughout Mt Hood, so you’re sure to come across some Huckleberry Blossoms in early August just a few weeks before the berries are ready to pick.