• Breathtaking autumn colors in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

    Bering Land Bridge

    National Preserve Alaska

Wildflowers

A far cry from the white wonderland of winter, in summer the tundra of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve awakens in a brilliant kaleidoscope of wildflowers. From the deep purple of the poisonous Monksood, to the bright pink of the Common Fireweed, the landscape offers an endless selection of flora to identify. Check out some of the most common tundra wildflowers, below!

 
Alpine Arnica

Alpine Arnica

NPS Photo - Katie Cullen

Alpine Arnica (Arnica alpina)

Related to daisies and asters, Alpine Arnicas are one of many varieties found in Alaska. They are usually seen around June and July on dry alpine and sub-alpine slopes.

 
Alpine Forget-Me-Not

Alpine Forget-Me-Not

NPS Photo - Mason London

Alpine Forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris)

The Alpine Forget-Me-Not is a member of the borage family and is found in alpine and sub-alpine meadows and slopes throughout Alaska. Blooming May-June, these tall, delicate beauties are the state flower of Alaska.

 
Common Fireweed

Common Fireweed

NPS Photo - Andrea Willingham

Fireweed (Epilobium)

Both Common Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) and Dwarf Firewed (Epilobium latifolium) are common in the Seward Peninsula. While both bloom from about July-August, Common Fireweed is taller and its leaves turn bright orange-red in the fall, while Dwarf Fireweed is low-growing and commonly found along streams and rivers.

 
Mountain Harebell

Mountain Harebell

NPS Photo

Harebell (Campanula)

Both the Mountain Harebell (Campanula lasiocarpa) and the Common Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) are found in the tundra of Bering Land Bridge. The Mountain Harebell is very small and grows solitary on rocky alpine slopes, while the Common Harebell is tall and slender, growing in clumps on grassy slopes and rocky outcroppings.

 
Kamchatka Rhododendron

Kamchatka Rhododendron

NPS Photo - Andrea Willingham

Kamchatka Rhododendron (Rhododendron camtschaticum)

At first glance, the Kamchatka Rhododendron might resemble Dwarf Fireweed, but in fact it is significantly different on closer inspection. Blooming late-May to mid-June, this low-growing wildflower thrives on tundra slopes throughout the Seward Peninsula.

 
Labrador Tea

Labrador Tea

NPS Photo - Alison Carlyle

Labrador Tea (Ledum palustris)

In summer, the tundra will be fragrant with the zesty aroma of Labrador Tea, which blooms in June in wet boggy areas. As a low-growing shrub, it is recognizable by its long, thin leaves. Although it can be brewed into a tasty tea, it contains low levels of a mild poison and should be consumed only in moderation.

 
Monkshood

Monkshood

NPS Photo

Monkshood (Aconitum delphinifolium)

Once called wolfbane, the Monkshood is a poisonous plant that blooms in July and August on the sloping tundra. Monkshood is a member of the buttercup family, and is easily recognized by its deep purple lobed petals that grow on long, thin stems.

 
One-flowered Cinquefoil

One-flowered Cinquefoil

NPS Photo - Alison Carlyle

One-flowered Cinquefoil (Potentilla uniflora)

The one-flowered cinquefoil is one of many cinquefoil varieties in the rose family. These bloom mid-May through mid-June, and are most commonly found on rocky, exposed slopes, and almost always have 5 petals with an orange spot at the base.

 
Tall Jacob's Ladder

Tall Jacob's Ladder

NPS Photo - Mason London

Tall Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium acutiflorum)

Found in wet fields and often near streams, the Tall Jacob's Ladder blooms in July and August as a tall perennial plant. It often has clumps of flowers with 5 pointed blue petals at the top of a long stem.

Did You Know?

A group of men posing with a large caribou

The land category of national preserves was established primarily for the protection of subsistance resources. Activities such as sport hunting and trapping are permitted in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and other preserves.