The Book

Mountain Plants of the Western Cascades of Oregon
and Where to Find Them

began as an idea of what to do with all my photographs and information on the Western Cascades. And let’s face it, I needed some justification for all the time I was already spending exploring and botanizing this beautiful area.

The book will have two parts—or perhaps it will be two companion books. The first will cover the plants including conifers, ferns and their allies, dicots, and monocots other than graminoids. Currently that is about 550 plants. This is intended to be a comprehensive guide, not just the most common or showy plants. I’m most of the way through putting this together but working slowly.

The second section/book will cover what I consider the best accessible botanical sites in the Western Cascades. While most will be official trails, there are some roadside sites as well for those who can’t or aren’t in the mood to hike. Check out the Sites section of this website for directions and brief information about most of these.

The book is still in progress… and may be for a while yet. I have much yet to learn, and I won’t be satisfied until I’m happy with every photo and every description. Until then, this website will serve as a repository for some of my information and photos of plants and good botanizing locations. Please visit the Plants and Places Blog where I’ll report on what I find on my botanizing trips.

Here is a sample of one section of the book.

Mountain Plants of the Western Cascades Book sample (2MB)

17 Responses to “The Book”

  • Phyllis Gustafson:

    Tanya, I was looking at your site once before but checked it out again this morning. Love it. Also left a message on the chapter site but not sure I pressed the submit button. Really nice, a gold bar for the rest of us to try to live up to.

  • Thanks for your talk and excellent photo presentation to the Portland Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon (NPSO) last night. VERY interesting. It made an excellent review of things I have also observed over the years, but you put it all together in an imaginative, informative and entertaining way. You’re a good speaker. You say you’re “not a scientist,” but you obviously know your plants of Western Oregon very well.

    I think you are putting together a book and web page that many people are going to find to be great plant identification assets. I hope you persevere and get the book published.

    May your enthusiasm and ambition take you far!

    Bob Paulson

  • Don Lown:

    I appreciate all the information and photographs. Your work is admirable and inspiring. I’ll be on the first wave to buy the book when it is done. Thanks for what you are doing, especially the website previews.

  • Tanya
    Great start for your book!! I look forward to the end product!
    I had time for a short trip to the mountains this week so thought i would check out one of your sites described as good until late August – Park Creek Basin, perhaps with hike up Three Pyrmids. However, about a mile up Rd 560 I discovered a locked gate! An informational sign earlier on the road suggested that the road is probably always locked now! That, of course, would mean a long walk in to either location. My map shows an alternative road into the general area but i did not have time to check it out to see if could be used as an alternate way in.
    Some thoughts occured to me:
    a) recommend going in with mountain bikes
    b) check out the alternative road (it could be blocked as well and i’m not sure how easy it would be to link with Rd560, will try to check it out at next opportunity)
    c) encourage the FS to unlock the gate (might have impact if they get multiple requests)
    As an alternative I drove on down to Groundhog Mtn. Had a good time (but focused on butterflies and dragonflies). Saw two friends of yours (but did not get their names). Had a great time!

  • mike:

    Thank you for your fantastic site! which I just found out about through Greg and Cheryl’s trip reports.

  • We really encourage your endeavor, especially the “roadside” portion of your guide. The elderly often have a deep appreciation for native plants. We would purchase your guide because we have parents we enjoy sharing as much of the natural world with as we can.

  • Dustin Dawson:

    Have you thought about making this book digital? I now only take my iPad or iPhone with me on the trail. You could even sell what you have now, and give free updates to those who have already paid. Your guide looks wonderful! I really like how you have your format. Keep up the great work!

  • Yes, Dustin. I definitely plan to make a digital version. Something that will work with mobile devices and have enhanced interactivity. But it’s still a ways off.

  • Jennifer Rowan-Henry:

    Hello Tanya!
    My husband, my friend and I met you today on the Tidbits trail … thanks for the spontaneous botany field lecture! Your website and forthcoming book look great… hope we have the chance to hear you talk about your work. Perhaps a powerpoint lecture at the Eugene Public Library? We’d definitely be there!
    Thank you again… look forward to seeing your book.
    Jennifer Rowan-Henry
    Eugene, Oregon

  • Rich Titgen:

    Hi Tanya,

    I noticed on your example pages that you use traditional nomenclature. Are you planning to use the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III nomenclature for the finished produce (as they do at the Oregon Flora Project).



  • Hi Rich,
    The sample you looked at is one I posted 3 years ago—I’ll try to post an updated version soon! I am definitely following APG III. In fact, in 2011, I wrote a post about the new nomenclature, see New Year, New Families. I also just finished posting updated plant lists. They are now up-to-date with my observations and also now follow APG III. I was waiting for the Oregon Flora Project to make the change before subjecting anyone else to the new names on my lists.

  • Keith Polakoff:

    I have been trying to identify a wildflower I photographed in Crater Lake National Park on my recently completed camping vacation in the Cascades. I haven’t been able to find it on a Web site. And then, lo and behold, I found your site, and there the flower is–on the draft front cover of your book in progress about the wildflowers of Oregon’s western Cascades! Can you please tell me what the wildflower is. If you wish, I will share my photo with you. By the way, it was growing out of a rock wall just above the Cletewood Cove boat dock, and the specimen is fairly spectacular. –Kip.

  • Hi Keith,

    The plant on the cover of my book is the gorgeous cliff penstemon (Penstemon rupicola). It is typical of cliffs and rocky areas of the Western Cascades, as well as being one of our showiest plants. It can indeed be found at Crater Lake and some other High Cascade sites, although Penstemon davidsonii is more common at higher elevations. I would indeed love to see your photo!

  • Tom Morawski:

    My wife and I ran into you the other day on the Metolius River (Wednesday, September 27(.

    When will the book be ready for sale?

  • David Cammack:

    Hope the book is coming out soon.

  • I do hope I’ll be able to get back to my book in the next couple of years, but I am currently working as layout person and editor for both the Flora of Oregon and the Flora of North America. My book has to take a back seat. On the plus side, I’ll be that much more knowledgeable when I can start working on it again. In the meantime, enjoy photos, lists, and info from my website.

  • Leigh Blake:

    Hi Tanya!!

    Thank you !!! I read your SORROW with our NON NATIVE turkeys…who not only destroy your BEAUTIFUL Dryas Octopetala…but endanger our native Mountain Grouse and Quail…I did NOT realise that you had written a BOOK about our natives…and I saw Phyllis Gustavson’s reply…back in 2010…WOW!! I, too, have lost many plants from Kathy’s …and I also collect cuttings and seed in the wild…some that do well…some that don’t because of my lack of knowledge…I’ll always be a learner…I’d sure love to have you visit someday…It’s wild…and wooly… Have a wonderful weekend…hope you see this May 4, 2024

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