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D. rotundifolia and P. vulgaris in the Pacific Northwest

May 21, 2011, 6:18

Ugh, all the homework has been getting me down lately and the weather has been so nice, I had to get out of the house today. I decided to grab the pups and head out to McDowell Creek Falls.

Miss Timber

and Miss Kila

It’s still pretty early in the spring season so I didn’t expect to see many flowers in bloom, but much to my surprise, there were quite a few flowers out. One specimen in particular completely took my breath away. I have never seen anything like this before – I don’t even know how much time I spent poking and prodding this poor plant – and it definitely go the bulk of my attention this afternoon.

A male Western Meadowrue

Turns out it is called a Thalictrum occidentale, or Western Meadowrue, and it’s part of the buttercup family. I found this out (plus a couple of other interesting tidbits of info) by scouring my tattered copy of “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast” as soon as I got home. The species has distinctive male and female plants, and the female plants actually don’t have any petals at all. The male Meadowrue (pictured) is the more flamboyant of the pair and offers the dangling chandelier-like stamens and purple anthers to attractant pollinators.

One other very exciting thing I discovered is that in addition to cobra lilies, there are two other carnivorous plants that call the Pacific Northwest home. drum roll please…. They are the round-leaved sundew, Drosera rotundifolia, and the common butterwort, Pinguicula vulgaris.

According to "Plants of the PNW Coast," Native American tribes of the region used Drosera rotundifolia for removing corns, warts and bunyons. Photo courtesy of Atlapix on flickr.com.

Pinguicula vulgaris photo courtesy of islaynaturalhistory.blogspot.com

I found these little beauties under the heading “Oddballs” in “Plants of the PNW Coast” and according to the regional map, it looks like they are native to coastal regions as far south as Newport and as far north as the Cook Inlet in Alaska. Alaska? Can this be true? I have no idea, but I’m very excited by the prospect of it. Have you ever seen carnivorous plants in the Pacific Northwest region? And if so, where?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jama4u2 permalink
    May 21, 2011, 11:10 11:10 pm

    Excellent! Love the pups pictures. And the plant you discovered is beautiful!

  2. May 22, 2011, 12:00 12:00 am

    Thanks! Kila and Timber had a ton of fun on that hike. It’s nice because it’s semi-short and there are spots where you can actually get down to the water. Of course, as soon as Kila is off the leash it’s BOMBS AWAY! into the water. You can definitely tell she’s part lab!

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