Wenatchee Mountains

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Sellars
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Joined: 2009-12-29
Wenatchee Mountains

The cool wet weather in the Pacific Northwest this year has delayed snowmelt in the alpine areas. There is so much snow in the North Cascades that the road to Artist's Point near Mount Baker will not be cleared this year. Last weekend we headed down to the Wenatcheee Mountains on the east side of the Cascades hoping to find snow-free alpine areas. We were not disappointed.

The Claytonia megarhiza v nivalis was spectacular on the summit ridge of Iron Peak and there were even a few Douglasia nivalis still in flower. The Claytonia and Douglasia were dotted around the serpentine scree together with Anenome drummondii , Castilleja elmeri and Ivesia tweedyi. We were fortunate to meet Richard Ramsden on the trail who pointed out some of the other Wenatchee endemics such as Lomatium cuspidatum.

Sellars
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Joined: 2009-12-29

On Sunday July 24 we went up Tronsen Ridge. At the lower elevations the Lewisia tweedyi had finished flowering but Lewisia rediviva was emerging. There were lots of Penstemon particularly Penstemon pruinosus and some nice clumps of Clematis columbiana. Near the summit of the ridge there was a wonderful rock garden with different colour forms of Lewisia tweedyi in full flower which we had not expected so late in the year.  On top there were some lovely dwarf forms of  Ipomopsis aggregata and many species of Eriogonum.

David Sellars From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada Feature your favourite hikes at: www.mountainflora.ca MountainFlora videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Tony Willis
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Joined: 2011-02-01

David super pictures,as you know we were there last year and it brings back great memories. It is a wonderful area

Anne Spiegel
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Joined: 2010-01-26

Wonderful pictures, David.  Did you find a range of color forms in the L. tweedyi?  One you photographed looked almost yellow.  That was one of the color forms exhibited at the plant show at the Nottingham Conference this year.

Lori S.
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Joined: 2009-10-27

Wow, terrific collection of plants!  The scenery and soil colour look so different from what we see around here.  The claytonia and lewisias are just amazing. The penstemon looks very unusual for P. procerus... the rounded leaf shape, prominent teeth and long basal petioles seem odd for that species.  Any chance it might be P. pruinosus?Thanks for posting those shots - it's wonderful to get the opportunity to see that area!

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Sellars
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Joined: 2009-12-29

Anne:

Most of the Lewisia tweedyi in the wild look yellow to me, some more creamy than others.  The ones with orange or peachy tones are much less common.  We have one very small disjunct population of Lewisia tweedyi in Manning Park, BC.  They are all yellow with no orange tones.

David Sellars From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada Feature your favourite hikes at: www.mountainflora.ca MountainFlora videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Sellars
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Lori:

I think you are right. It is Penstemon pruinosus.  I didn't look too closely at the penstemon and assumed it was procerus which is quite common in the Cascades.  The Washington Native Plant Society plant list for Tronsen Ridge confirms your observation:

http://www.wnps.org/plant_lists/counties/chelan/documents/TronsonRidge2f...

The entire hike up Iron Peak is on serpentine rock and soil which gives a strange appearance to the vegetation. There are areas with no trees at quite a low elevation and Douglasia nivalis grows in those open areas as well as on the ridge.  The summit ridge of Iron Peak is all rusty brown rock and scree dotted with an amazing collection of plants unlike anywhere I have ever seen.

David Sellars From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada Feature your favourite hikes at: www.mountainflora.ca MountainFlora videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Sellars
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Here's the Penstemon pruinosus which shows the upper part of Tronsen Ridge in the background. Plus a couple more of the Claytonia megarhiza v nivalis from Iron Peak.

David Sellars From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada Feature your favourite hikes at: www.mountainflora.ca MountainFlora videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

superb, David!How much does a plant of Clematis columbiana spread there?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Sellars
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Rick:

Most of the Clematis columbiana on Tronsen Ridge are quite straggly as you would expect.  The clump in the photo was quite unusual and was about three feet across.  Clematis columbiana v tenuiloba forms beautiful small clumps but we have only seen that form in Utah and the Bighorns.

David Sellars From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada Feature your favourite hikes at: www.mountainflora.ca MountainFlora videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Fantastic pictures of beautiful plants! What a place to hike ;)

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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