Plant Lists from the Pacific Northwest

These lists, surveys, and class notes were generated by the Columbines School of Botanical Studies Apprenticeship Program. Herbalists, botanists, and wildcrafters alike may find these lists to be useful reference material.

First Year Field Trips

Spring Term: Plant Lists

Summer Term: Economic Botanical Surveys

Second Year Field Trips

Key for the Alpine Trip Plant List:

  • A: Arctic Alpine Zone, High Elevation
  • H: Hudsonian Zone, Middle Elevation
  • C: Canadian Zone, Middle Elevation
  • AT: Arid Transition Zone, Ponderosa Pine Zone East Side of Cascades
  • HT: Humid Transition Zone, Low Elevation West Side of Cascades
  • T: Transition Zones, Low Elevation and Ponderosa Pine Zones, Both Sides of the Cascades

Wild Food Tending Field Trips with Heron Brae

Economic Botanical Surveys with Abundance and Phenology

We are not running Wild Food Tending this year, but we have included last year’s lists for your reference.

background image

About Plant Lists and Botanical Surveys

Most of this data was gathered between the months of April through September in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and the surrounding areas. These lists generally include only plants that were flowering at the time of the class. We have intentionally removed site specific locations, but have included the general ecosystem and elevations. You may be able to apply this information to similar ecosystems in your area.

Each list may include the following:

Topics Covered: This is a general list of key concepts and principles addressed during the field trip. On occasion, our topics may fall into one of the following specific categories: Herbalism Principles, Wildcrafting Principles, Botanical Principles, and Ecosystems/Habitats.

Notes: The plant lists may include highlights and additional details from each class field trip. They generally are only one line reminders for those in the apprenticeship, but they may be of value to some.

Family: These lists are arranged by plant family. We use the family names found in the most current taxonomic key for the area, which is usually The Flora of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock and Cronquist. Only Volume 1 of the new Flora of Oregon has been published. These new names are reflected in the plant list.

Latin Names: The latin name is the best way to identify a plant. We use the Latin names found in the most current taxonomic key for the area, which is usually The Flora of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock and Cronquist. Only Volume 1 of the new Flora of Oregon has been published. These new names are reflected in the plant list.

Common Names: Common names are a poor way to identify a plant, as there are three “Spring Beauties” in my area, all unrelated except that they bloom in the early spring. I have a tendency to make these names up, but in these lists I use the most “common” common name for my area, or at least my favorite one.

Uses: These are hard to sum up in one or two words. Edible is difficult to define. If it tastes bad no matter how you cook it, is it edible? If it’s poison raw, but edible cooked? What if it’s poison unless soaked in lye and then boiled to remove the lye (olives)? What if it tasted bad, gives you the runs and makes you throw up, but will not kill you? Poison is also hard to define. If you eat a plant in a salad or prepared food and it requires seeking medical attention afterwards, we will define the plant as poisonous. Remember, the difference between poison and medicine is dosage. Some of the plants listed as poison may be used by clinical herbalists as medicine. Some foods are poisonous if ingested in large quantities.These one or two word descriptions are only a reference, please check further resources for more complete information.

Animal Interactions: “I’m a botanist, Jim, not a zoologist.”

background image