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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-July, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »

  • Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers

    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

Subalpine Wildflowers - Blue/Purple

 
Alpine Aster

Alpine Aster

NPS Photo

Alpine Aster
Aster alpigenus

A widespread flower in drier meadows and stony slopes (common in the Sunrise area). Distinguished by a single flower head per stem, with a few small, narrow leaves along stem.

 
Broadleaf Lupine

Broadleaf Lupine

NPS, Steve Redman

Broadleaf Lupine
Lupinus latifolius

Branched, hairy stems between 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) tall, with 7-8 leaflets per leaf. Abundant in open areas and meadows throughout the park's lower elevations up to about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters), where it tends to get replaced by the smaller but similar-looking Subalpine Lupine (Lupinus articus).

 
Cusick's Speedwell

Cusick's Speedwell

NPS Photo

Cusick's Speedwell
Veronica cusickii

Spreads along slender rootstocks to form loose mats, with dark green tooth-less leaves along the stem. Widespread in meadows and along streams above 5,000 feet (1,500 meters).

 
Dwarf Lupine

Dwarf Lupine

NPS, Chris Roundtree

Dwarf Lupine
Lupinus lepidus

Less than 6 inches (15 cm) tall, this smaller relative of Broadleaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius) grows at higher elevations in the park, generally above 7,000 feet (2,100 meters). Grows to form mats with a stout, woody base, and silvery leaves with 5-7 leaflets.

 
Jeffrey's Shooting Star

Jeffrey's Shooting Star

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Jeffrey's Shooting Star
Dodecatheon jeffreyi

Usually grows in clumps, with long (6-16 in/15-40 cm) basal leaves. The distinctive flowers with folded-back petals rise above the leaves on a leafless stem up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. Common in wet subalpine meadows and along streams.

 
Low Jacob's Ladder

Low Jacob's Ladder

NPS Photo

Low Jacob's Ladder
Polemonium pulcherrimum

Leaves are mostly basal, with numerous oval to round leaflets, with stems less than 4 inches (10 cm) high. Common on cliffs and rocky ridges, as well as in the meadows at Sunrise.

 
Mountain Bog Gentian

Mountain Bog Gentian

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Mountain Bog Gentian
Gentiana calycosa

A single flower tops each unbranched stem, with opposite-paired leaves along stem. Common in wet subalpine meadows between 4,500-8,000 feet (approx. 1,400-2,400 meters).

 
Tall Bluebells

Tall Bluebells

NPS Photo

Tall Bluebells
Mertensia paniculata

Reaching about 3 feet (1 meter) in height, this tall flower has several stems in a tuft with large leaves. The bell-shaped flowers appear pink when a bud, darkening to blue-purple when blooming. Found throughout the park at slighly lower elevations between 2,500-6,500 feet (760-1,980 m), in moist, open areas.

Did You Know?

Floyd Schmoe, Mount Rainier's first full-time Park Naturalist.

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...