The most common flower in Alaska appears to be the fireweed, occurring in vibrant purple rows along the highways. Yet, in the Wrangells alone, there are 887 vascular plant species. This represents 54% of the Alaskan flora (which has approximately 1535 species) and 69% of the Yukon Territory flora.
The high diversity of sub-arctic plant communities in Wrangell-St. Elias is due in part to its large size, the three climatic zones it covers (maritime, transitional and interior), the wide variety of landforms and the extensive and complex topographic relief found within its boundaries. Some regions of the park have a strong coastal influence, particularly in the Chugach-St. Elias and southern Wrangell Mountains. The extent of the Pleistocene glaciation has had a major effect on the distribution and composition of the flora of the park, most of which was glaciated during the last ice age.
Plant Communities of Wrangell-St. Elias
Detailed listing of Trees, Shrubs, Wildflowers
Wrangell-St. Elias Plant List
All Vascular Plant Species
Trees of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Common Plants of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Common Trees of Wrangell-St. Elias
Did You Know?
In March, 1948, Northwest Flight #4422 slammed into 16,237’ Mt. Sanford, killing all 30 on board. The wreckage was immediately concealed by ice and snow, making recovery efforts impossible. It was 50 years later until wreckage parts surfaced on a glacier, miles from the crash site.