I have wild columbine growing in my garden. Well, it’s wild now. I think the previous owner planted them. They are a blue tinted variety and they spread like weeds. (but they’re prettier) This one was wild and growing in sub-alpine terrain in the Olympic National Park at about 5000 feet.
I have mixed feelings about wildflower identification. Some I know well and enjoy and struggle to remember their ‘proper’ names. Others I take photos of and try to identify after the fact by comparing the photos to images in my wildflower guidebooks. Usually that works. But in order to make a definitive ID on some flowers, you have to dissect parts or dig up the roots. I don’t feel like it’s that important for me to make an identification … I’d rather let the plant live.
Okay, so I think this is Blue-eyed Grass (Idaho Blue-eyed Grass ?). A member of the Iris family … but to me, it looks more like a member of the lily family. I found this over in the pine woods of Lincoln County, WA … in March.
Camas Lilies are found in large patches … Lewis and Clark reported finding them so dense in some locations that the prairie resembled blue lakes. The native peoples harvested the bulbs for food.
I found these at Bloedel Nature Reserve on Bainbridge Island, across Puget Sound from Seattle. I haven’t ever seen them ‘in the wild’ in Washington … but they are very similar to Avalance Lilies and Yellow Faun Lilies, which I’ve seen a lot in the Olympics.