Wildflowers can be found everywhere in the North Cascades. They occur across the entire range of habitat types from wet hillside seeps and moist, shady forest floors to dry east-side slopes and exposed alpine ridges.
Flowers are remarkably diverse. They can bear a single flower or hundreds of small ones; they can be simple or ornate, growing alone among ancient hemlocks or as stunning displays in open alpine meadows.
Many of the wildflowers in the North Cascades will be familiar due to their wide spread distribution, but a few will be found nowhere else in the world. Many wildflowers are partial to one side of the Cascade ridge or the other, the moist west side or the dry east side, which can lead to a dramatic change in scenery and habitat types.
The great differences in elevation, exposure, and precipitation that exist in the North Cascades promote a range of flowering times. Some plants are flowering by late February and early March in the low elevation forests, and as late as August and early September in the alpine zone. While most of our flowers are insect or wind pollinated, those blooming during the relatively warmer days of April and May, such as salmonberry, Indian plum, and red-flowering currant will be visited by hummingbirds returning to breed.
Last updated: February 28, 2015