National Park Washington
Perennial with one to several unbranched flowering stems 8-28 inches (20-70 cm) tall and narrow, oblong basal leaves about 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) long. Very common in subalpine meadows, and can be one of the earliest flowers blooming at Paradise.
Stems are 6-16 in (15-40 cm) long, with usually 2-3 flowers each. It takes many years for these plants to begin flowering, but they grow in abundant colonies throughout subalpine regions in the park. They are often the first to flower along the edges of melting snow. Closely related to Glacier Lily.
Stems of this tough flower can be 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, emerging from large clumps of grass-like basal leaves. The leaves were historically used by native peoples to weave hats, baskets, and capes. Bears have been known to eat the fleshy bases of the leaves in spring, giving the flower its name.
Stems 8-24 inches (20-60 cm) tall, with compound flowers with 7-10 rays. Leaves mostly basal, divided into many toothed leaflets. Widespread in meadows and along streams between elevations of 5,000-7,000 feet (1,500-2,100 meters).
Leaves basal, oval to round with heart-shaped base. Grows in wet meadows, bogs, and stream-sides above 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
NPS, Steve Redman
An evergreen shrub with creeping woody stems that spread out to form mats. Leaves are segmented and form tufts at the end of branches, while flowering stems are 4-8 in (10-15 cm) tall with dense, terminal flowers. Common in drier meadows and open talus slopes.
Pasqueflower / Western Anemone
The entire plant is coated in long hairs, with segmented leaves and 4-12 in (10-30 cm) tall flowering stem. The feather-like "mouse-on-a-stick" seedhead (pictured right) is a common sight in Mount Rainier's meadows.
Weedlike plant that spreads via rootstock to form clumps of stems 24-40 in (60-100 cm) tall, with narrow leaves along stem. Leaves are dark green on top, with a white-woolly underside. Numerous, dense flowerheads top the stem. Found throughout the park from low elevations, particularly along roadsides, up to approx. 6,000 feet (1,800 meters).
NPS, Chris Roundtree
White-flowered Sickletop Lousewort
The white-flowered subspecies of this plant is common in Washington, but you may also see Pedicularis racemosa ssp. racemosa, which has pink to purple flowers. While all other lousewort species found in the park have lobed leaves, sickletop lousewort can easily be distinguished by its narrow, toothed leaves without lobes.
Sitka Mountain Ash
This six foot-high (2m) shrub grows in thickets and is widespread above about 4,500 feet (1,400 meters). Leaves are divided into 7-9 leaflets, with toothed edges. Flowers in tight clusters at the ends of branches, and produces bright red berries favored as a food source by birds and other wildlife.
Very common in subalpine regions, this flower can often be seen rising above other wildflowers in the meadows. It has hairless leaves and a square stem, and ranges in height from 24-47 inches (60-120 cm) tall.
White Mountain Heather
Small, scale-like evergreen leaves arranged in four rows cover stems up to 12 in (30 cm) long. Common in subalpine parkland, where it can form extensive mats.