Subalpine Wildflowers - Yellow/Orange

 
Arrowleaf Groundsel
Arrowleaf Groundsel

NPS Photo

Arrowleaf Groundsel
Senecio triangularis

Distinctive toothed, triangular-shaped leaves mark this large plant, which can grow to be 20-40 inches (50-100 cm) tall. Several flowerheads cluster atop the single tall stem. The flowers are bright yellow with many petals. Common in the park, generally above 4,000 feet (1,219 m).

 
Broadleaf Arnica
Broadleaf Arnica

NPS Photo, Steve Redman

Broadleaf Arnica
Arnica latifolia

A common subalpine species; it can be found growing alone or in clustered groups formed from spreading rootstock. Stems reach about 20 inches (50 cm) in height, with oval, toothed leaves.

 
Cascade Stonecrop
Cascade Stonecrop

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Cascade Stonecrop
Sedum divergens

Also known as spreading stonecrop, this plant grows to form spreading mats. Stems have thick bright green leaves, sometimes tinged with red. Usually found growing on cliff faces and stony slopes.

 
Fan-leaf Cinquefoil
Fan-leaf Cinquefoil

NPS Photo

Cinquefoil, Fan-leaf
Potentilla flabellifolia

A low, clustered perennial, with basal leaves with three, coarsely toothed leaflets. Common in higher elevation subalpine areas such as the Sunrise area.

 
A shrub with five-petaled yellow flowers.
Shrubby Cinquefoil

NPS Photo

Cinquefoil, Shrubby
Dasiphora fruticosa

This shrubby plant has one or two five-petaled yellow flowers on each branch. Stems are woody, with divided leaves with 3-7 leaflets covered in silky hairs. Found on subalpine to alpine rocky slopes between 5,000-8,000 feet (1524 -2438 m) elevation.

 
Dwarf Goldenrod
Dwarf Goldenrod

NPS Photo

Dwarf Goldenrod
Solidago simplex

Common on talus slopes between 6,000-7,100 feet (1,828-2,164 m), this alpine plant grows only to four inches (10 cm) tall; a miniature of its cousin, northern goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata). It has spoon-shaped to oval leaves diminishing in size along the stem, while the yellow flowers are short and compact.

 
Alpine Yellow Fleabane
Alpine Yellow Fleabane

NPS Photo

Fleabane, Alpine Yellow
Erigeron aureus

Also known as alpine gold daisy, this tiny flower is common on the rocky slopes of the mountain between 7,000-8,500 feet (2,133-2,590 m). It has a compact bunch of basal leaves and a short stem with a single flower, reaching about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The flower is woolly, with a disk of yellow petals.

 
Glacier Lily pushing through snow (left); a clump of blooming Glacier Lilies (right)
An early season Glacier Lily pushs through snow (left); a clump of blooming Glacier Lilies (right).

Glacier Lily
Erythronium grandiflorum

Each plant usually boasts a single flower supported on a 6-12 inch (15-30 cm) long stem (unlike the 2-3 flowers per stem found on avalanche lilies), but often found growing in clumps of multiple individuals. Glacier lilies also bloom earlier than avalanche lilies or other flowers, sometimes even pushing through late-season snow in order to flower.

 
Bracted Lousewort
Bracted Lousewort

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Lousewort, Bracted
Pedicularis bracteosa

Also known as wood betony, this plant is hairless, with leaves divided into slender, toothed lobes. Flowers can sometimes be tinged purple, but usually appear yellowish. Growing to a height of 40 inches (100 cm), it is the tallest lousewort species found in the park.

 
A plant with reddish-green stems topped in whorls of yellow hooded flowers.
Mount Rainier Lousewort

NPS/S. Redman Photo

Lousewort, Mount Rainier
Pedicularis rainierensis

At a glance, this lousewort has a flower similar to bracted lousewort (P. bracteosa), with a curved and hooded upper lip and narow lower lobes. The yellow flowers densely cluster in a relatively short inflorescence. Leaves are divided and mostly basal. Once believed to be found only at Mount Rainier, a few individuals have been reported at Mount Baker and the surrounding Cascades.

 
Mountain Monkeyflower
Mountain Monkeyflower

NPS Photo

Mountain Monkeyflower
Mimulus tilingii

Spreads via rootstock and runners to form small patches or mats, with branched stems ranging from 2-8 inches (5-20 cm) long. Commonly found along streams or areas of wet ground.

 
A large patch of bright yellow composite flowers.
Oregon Sunshine

NPS Photo

Oregon Sunshine
Eriophyllum lanatum

With many large "sunny" yellow composite flowers, this plant stands out, growing to about 20 inches (50 cm) tall. Leaves are lobed or divided and grey-green in color. Common on gravelly or rocky slopes between 2,000-6,000 ft (600-1,800 m). Also known as woolly yellow daisy.

 
Rainier growing next to the stone wall at Sunrise Point.
Rainiera

NPS Photo

Rainiera
Rainiera stricta

A tall plant, with a leafy stem reaching about 40 inches (100 cm) high. Leaves are hairless and not toothed, diminishing in size as they approach the top of the stem. Flowers form a spike at the top, with each flowerhead containing five yellow flowers. Grows in drier subalpine meadows and open areas, particularly around Sunrise.

 
Smooth Mountain Dandelion
Short-beaked Agoseris

NPS, Crow Vecchio

Short-beaked Agoseris
Agoseris glauca

This stout plant with a dandelion-like flower grows no taller than 6 inches (15 cm), with thick, toothless, hairy leaves. Common in drier subalpine meadows above 5,000 feet (1,524 m), particularly around Sunrise and the north and east sides of the park. Also called woolly or pale agoseris.

 
A plant with pale yellow flowers on rocky ground.
Yellow Willowherb

NPS Photo

Willowherb, Yellow
Epilobium luteum

Growing in loose clumps, this willowherb has opposite, hairless leaves, with toothed margins. Flowers have four-lobed stigmas, with pale yellow to yellow petals. Common in subalpine meadows.

 
A large plant with tall stems covered in numerous small flower heads and with large lobed silvery leaves.
Silver Wormwood

NPS Photo

Wormwood, Silver
Artemisia ludoviciana

Growing from woody rootstalk, this plant can be 20-40 inches (50-100 cm) tall with clusters of nodding yellow flowerheads along the stem. Short, simple leaves are scattered along the flowering stem, with main leaves divided with lance-like lobes. Common on drier, open slopes on the eastern side of the park.

Last updated: January 27, 2021

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