Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wildflowers at Crater Lake

Crater Lake with Wizard Island at sunset

Wildflower meadow near Crater Lake with my sister

Wildflower meadow closer up

Path through wildflower meadow showing water flowing through

Mimulus lewisii

Mimulus lewisii closeup
     I just got back from our camping trip to Crater Lake National Park and Mt. Lassen National Park.  The first picture above is from the rim of Crater Lake one night at sunset.  It is a beautiful place, well worth the visit.  The weather while we were there was great--in the 80's during the day, but dropping into the 40's at night.  Crater Lake at the rim is above 7000 ft. so it gets quite cold at night.
     We took a number of short hikes in the park, and one of them was in a place called the wildflower garden and it was aptly named.  All the wildflower pictures above are from that place.  As you can see, it is an open meadow set on a slope, with lots of water running through it.  That wetness probably accounts for the lushness of the flower growth.
     The most showy flower in the meadow was Mimulus lewisii,  named for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. This flower occurs in the western mountain ranges, such as the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, and Rocky Mountains at elevations above 4000 ft.   Many years ago I bought a plant of this from Wells Medina Nursery, but at the time I did not understand what the plant would do or its growing requirements, so it did not survive in my garden.  I can now see that it likes moisture and sun at the very least.  It probably would not appreciate getting too much heat, but that is only a guess.
     Looking on the internet, it is apparent that the plant can be found at various native plant nurseries.  I also notice that Annies Annuals carries a cross between Mimulus lewisii and Mimulus cardinalis, which might perform better in garden conditions than the straight species, although, again, that is only a guess.  The cross is not in stock now at Annies Annuals, but I put it on my wish list.
     There were lots of other wildflowers at Crater Lake, many of them growing in scree conditions.  Unfortunately, my camera blew over in a gust of wind while I was photographing on the rim and it broke, so all pictures after that had to be shot with my iphone camera.  I may be posting some of those pictures tomorrow if I can get them to look halfway decent.


  1. My only visit to Crater Lake was in June several years ago and there was still lots of snow on the ground.No wildflowers ! I bought a couple Mimulus naiandinas when I went to Annies in April, they are a nice garden plant here in my Norcal garden.

  2. Beautiful! that first shot is a stunner. So sorry about your camera. Hope you can get it fixed.