Forest Wildflowers - White
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Also known as Siberian Miner's-Lettuce, this small-flowered plant has long-stemmed oval basal leaves in addition to paired leaves going up the stem. The flower petals are distinguished by faint pink stripes or can sometimes appear pinkish in color. It is common in moist forests up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters).
NPS, Bev Killam
False Solomon's Seal
Broad leaves alternate along the stem of this plant, with flowers clustered at the terminal of the stem. Flowers give way to red berries. Fairly common in lower elevations, up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters), in moist woods and along stream banks.
False Solomon's Seal, Star-flowered
Alternating leaves very similar to the related species False Solomon's Seal (S. racemosa), but with only a few (5-10) star-like flowers in a short terminal cluster at the end of the stem. Similar habitat as S. racemosa, but more common in the park, particularly at Box Canyon.
Very common in moist forests, often forming dense carpets sprinkled with clusters of tiny white flowers like "specks of foam". Leaves mostly basal with three, toothed lobes.
This perennial plant can be mistaken for a shrub, with robust stems 3-6 feet (1-2 meters) tall. Leaves divided, with toothed leaflets, and flowers cluster on long, drooping stems. Common up to about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) along wet cliffs, open wooded banks, and roadsides.
NPS, Crow Vecchio
Hooded Ladies' Tresses
This plant features geometrically precise flowers arranged in rows of three twisting around the stem. Leaves are slender and mostly basal. Typically found in wet meadows, such as the Longmire Meadow, though can also colonize open, disturbed ground.
This plant has several leafy stems branching from spreading rootstock. Leaves are slender and lance-shaped, and each stem supports 2-6 white flowers. Common in moist, shady areas up to about 6,000 feet (1,800 meters).
Very common in deep forest below 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) elevation, this plant has a single large white flower framed by 2-3 glossy leaves. The flower produces a single dark blue berry.
Also known as Alaska Saxifrage, this plant has mostly basal leaves with branched flowering stems 4-12 inches (10-30 cm) tall. Flowers are irregular, with 3 larger petals with two yellow spots and two smaller petals without spots. Petals are also distinctly stalked. Look for this flower along wet cliffs, mossy rock outcrops, and stream banks in mid to low elevations (2,500-6,000 feet/762-1,828 meters).
Less common than Rusty Saxifrage, this plant can still be found in the park in drier, rocky places, usually in shade, between 3,000-8,000 feet (914-2,438 m). Flowers have yellow to orange spots, supported on branched stems 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) tall.
NPS, Crow Vecchio
Slender Bog Orchid
The flowers of this orchid tend to appear greenish, which can make it difficult to spot amidst the park's lush lowland vegetation. Flowers form a loosely-arranged spike at the top of a 8-24 inch (20-60cm) tall stem, with alternating lance-shaped leaves along stem. Usually found in wet meadows along streams and springs.
This widespread plant can be found throughout the park, particularly along roadsides. Leaves have three fan-shaped bluntly-toothed leaflets, supported on stalks about 4-12 inches (10-30 cm) tall. Numerous tiny flowers rise above the leaves in a white spike.
This easily-recognizable and early-blooming flower features three leaves at the top of the stem framing a single flower with three large white petals. Very common throughout the park up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters).
Much smaller than their agriculturally-grown relatives, wild strawberries produce bright red fruit less than half an inch (approx. 8 mm) long. Leaves are split into three, toothed, hairy leaflets. Commonly found growing in spreading patches in open woods, and along roadsides and trails.
Did You Know?
Floyd Schmoe was Mount Rainier's first full-time Park Naturalist. In 1923, he launched the park's "Nature Notes", a series of writings on various park-related topics. There are hundreds of editions of the notes in the park's collection, all of which are accessible through the Mount Rainier History & Culture webpage: More...