Warm weather brings brilliant displays of color to our valley. Hillsides covered in yellow balsams are one of the first signs of spring, followed by fields of purple lupine and patches of indian paintbrush.
Multiple species of wildflowers can be viewed right now in and around Leavenworth. We spotted no less than seven different flowers while walking local trails and Ski Hill.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot – Perhaps the most stunning and ubiquitous of North Central Washington flowers but their commonality makes them no less spectacular when viewed in mass. See these treasures right now in the foothills surrounding Wenatchee and Cashmere as well as Ski Hill in Leavenworth.
Blue Oregon Windlflower-This small blue flower is approximately an inch and a half across and belongs to the anenome family. Keep an eye out for it growing on the side of the trails at Ski Hill.
American Vetch (Vivica Americana)-A common roadside flower, vetch is in the legume family and is closely related to the garden variety sweet pea.
lepidium draba-Actually classified as a weed, lepidium draba is a perennial herb that originated from Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)- This tall succlent plant produces strings of light green colored blossoms that turn into luscious black berries in the fall. The berries are an important food source for song birds but can be highly toxic to humans although if prepared properly can be used as food, medicine, or poison if properly prepared.
Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) – This native bush is covered in blossoms that will turn into bunches of white berries that are an important source of food for animals.
Tweedy’s Lewisia-We have to admit this photo was taken in our backyard, but we’ve heard reports recently that the wild lewisias are begining to bloom. One of our most special of wildflowers, tweed’s lewisia only lives in a small geographic region, primarily in North Central Washington. Look for it growing in rock outcroppings in Tumwater Canyon.