Posts Tagged ‘Castle Rock’

Floriferous Roadcut Along McKenzie Highway

On Sunday (May 13), I headed out the McKenzie Highway to do some botanizing. My first stop was to the Castle Rock trail. It is still early there, but there were a number of fairy slippers in the woods and many Lomatium hallii and Sierra snakeroot (Sanicula graveolens) blooming in the open rocky areas of the summit. The pretty pink Phlox diffusa was also starting to bloom along with the lovely Viola sheltonii and Micranthes (Saxifraga) rufidula. It only took me around 3 hours to poke around my favorite spots to see how things were coming along, so I decided to continue on east past McKenzie Bridge.

The bright yellow blossoms of Hall’s lomatium (Lomatium hallii) are one of the first things to bloom up on Castle Rock.

Another good early spot for early flowers is along Deer Creek Road 2654, just over the border into Linn County, 7.5 miles past the ranger station. The wet springs of the last couple of years fueled some gorgeous displays of seep-loving annuals (see Superb Floral Display Above Deer Creek). While it has been wet this spring until recently and many things are just starting, the sudden change to warm, dry conditions may shorten the show of annuals this year. There were quite a few larkspurs in bloom along the road banks along with fading Lomatium hallii and saxifrages (Micranthes rufidula and M. integrifolia). Thompson’s mistmaiden (Romanzoffia thompsonii) was still blooming in a few of the many seeps. The big sweeps of rosy plectritis and blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora) had not yet begun. Read the rest of this entry »

Castilleja rupicola at Castle Rock

Today I went to Castle Rock. Things are a little later than last year, the Lathyrus lanszwertii is just coming into bloom. I did some exploring down below the south-facing rocks (down and right before the last switchback to the top). I was looking for better Claytonia rubra to photograph (found lots). I also found, just about to start blooming, a large patch of white Phacelia linearis. It is also white on Buckhead, Cloverpatch, Mt. Salem, and Youngs Rock. The only westside ones that I’ve seen that are the usual eastside purple are at Horse Rock Ridge. Also, I was really surprised I’d never seen them before, there were 3 blooming plants of Castilleja rupicola right over the north-facing cliff that can only be seen by climbing down below the top. They were blooming near the Saxifraga caespitosa and some pretty Valeriana scouleri (yes, got to change that on this list as well). It’s not so surprising it’s there considering it is on nearby Horsepasture, Lowder, and Tidbits. There may be more plants, but so little of those cliffs are safely visible. I’ve definitely been watching that cliff face for a few years now. Maybe they didn’t bloom last year because of the dry winter or some other fickleness.

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