Pink grass widows grow in a tight bouquet, blooming brightly in the morning sunlight. Photographed in the southern Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon.
Olsynium douglasii. Grass widows are beautiful early spring wildflowers to 12 inches tall. The stems arise singly or in small clusters, somewhat flattened in cross-section, and bearing several simple, parallel-veined leaves. The leaves are as tall as the stem, or often shorter. The one to three flowers are deep purplish-red to occasionally white or white with purplish stripes. The six tepals are regular (same shape), expanding to greater than the diameter of a quarter. They are rounded at the tip. This differs from the variety inflatum, which has pointed tips to the tepals. The 3 yellow tipped stamens are shorter than the elongated style, which is 3-pronged at the tip. The filament tube is only slightly enlarged above the base.
Sisyrinchium douglasii var. douglasii was discovered near Celilo Falls in 1826 by David Douglas, for which the plant is named.
Habitat: Dry open areas which are seasonally wet during the early spring.
Range: On the eastern slopes of the Cascades from northern Kittitas County, WA south to Wasco County, OR, and through the Willamette Valley west of the Cascades to northern California and northwards to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.
© Blue Mountain Blessings Photography by Betty E Duncan
Nikon Coolpix P510