Wildflower Report for Larch Mountain Crater

LocationLarch Mountain Crater
ReporterMarianne Nelson
Web sitehttp://www.NelsonNature.com
CommentsAfter seeing The Sunday Oregonian article on 7/20/08 about the Spotted Coral Root orchids, we headed for Larch Mountain again. (We also visited on July 1st). Almost all the snow is melted. You can park in the parking lot and take the short trail to Sherrard Point. On the way, watch for the Spotted Coral Root (Corallorhiza maculata)--there are plenty of them, in different stages of maturity. But as Daniel Mathews states in his "Cascade-Olympic Natural History" (a great trail guide):"They blend in with the duff and sticks until one of those few shafts of light hits, suddently turing luminous their eerie, translucent russet flesh." Bring a hand lens to really see the 3/4" flower. "Rhiza" is in the name because they do not have root hairs, but fungal hormones cause them to produce mycorrhizae instead. If you want to see Avalanche Lilies galore, walk down the road to the Oneonta Trail that begins the hike around the Larch Mtn. crater. There was a little snow left, and we could see them pushing their heads and buds up through the snow. Also lots of trillium, yellow violets, Canadian dogwood, Solomon plumes and other spring wildflowers.

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