• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Forest Wildflowers - White

 
Candyflower

Candyflower

NPS Photo

Candyflower
Claytonia sibirica

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).

 
False Solomon's Seal

False Solomon's Seal

NPS, Bev Killam

False Solomon's Seal
Smilacina racemosa

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.

 
Star-flowered False Solomon's Seal

Star-flowered False Solomon's Seal

NPS Photo

False Solomon's Seal, Star-flowered
Smilacina stellata

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.

 
Foamflower

Foamflower

NPS Photo

Foamflower
Tiarella trifoliata

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.

 
Goat's Beard

Goat's Beard

NPS Photo

Goat's Beard
Aruncus dioicus

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.

 
Hooded Ladies' Tresses

Hooded Ladies' Tresses

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Hooded Ladies' Tresses
Spiranthes romanzoffiana

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.

 
Large-leaf Sandwort

Large-leaf Sandwort

NPS Photo

Large-leaf Sandwort

Moehringia macrophylla

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).

 
Queen's Cup

Queen's Cup

NPS Photo

Queen's Cup
Clintonia uniflora

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.

 
Rusty Saxifrage with inset showing close-up of flower.

Rusty Saxifrage, with close-up of flower (inset).

NPS Photo

Saxifrage, Rusty
Saxifraga ferruginea

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).

 
Yellow-dot Saxifrage (left), with close-up of flowers (right).

Yellow-dot Saxifrage (left), with close-up of its spotted flowers (right).

NPS Photo

Saxifrage, Yellow-dot
Saxifraga bronchialis ssp. austromontana

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.

 
Slender Bog Orchid

Slender Bog Orchid

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Slender Bog Orchid
Platanthera stricta

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.

 
A cluster of Vanilla Leaf plants carpeting the ground.

Vanilla Leaf

NPS Photo

Vanilla Leaf
Achlys triphylla

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.

 
Western Trillium

Western Trillium

NPS Photo

Western Trillium
Trillium ovatum

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).

 
Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry

NPS Photo

Wild Strawberry
Fragaria vesca

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?

The first photograph taken at Rainier's summit is dated August 14, 1888.

The first photograph taken at the summit of Mount Rainier was taken at noon on August 14, 1888. Among the group photographed that day at the crater rim are naturalist John Muir, and P. B. Van Trump, one of the first two men known to have reached Rainier's summit.