Last week’s vacation took me once again to Oregon, for likely the last time this year. In addition to botanizing in south central and southeast Oregon, I also enjoyed cave exploring, hot springs, gem-hunting and birdwatching. Since I’m back for a few weeks before the next adventure, I think it’s a good time to get back to doing some of the biodiversity series on BPotD. Since July’s biodiversity theme at the Garden is Biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest, we’ll start with some photographs from this recent trip.
Despite its name, Washington lily is neither named after the US state of Washington, nor even found in the state (its northernmost extent reaches Mt. Hood in northern Oregon). It is actually named after Martha Washington. Two subspecies are recognized, Lilium washingtonianum subsp. purpurascens roughly distributed in the Klamath and Cascade ranges of mountains, and Lilium washingtonianum subsp. washingtonianum found in the Sierra Nevadas and south Cascades. The Flora of North America provides a key to the two subspecies, highlighting the subtle differences.
This lily species has possibly the best floral fragrance I’ve enjoyed this year (it’d be interesting to compare it side-by-side with the other possibility, Rhododendron occidentale) — I really wish there was a way to do a Botany Smell of the Day, but I don’t think the technology is quite there yet.
Growing to 2m (6.5 ft.) tall and with a preference for forest openings (including roadsides), it is relatively easy to spot the individual plants of Lilium washingtonianum from the highway, particularly once you notice the first one. I had originally found a plant in bud at higher elevation (~1400m / 4600ft.) and didn’t know it also occurred at lower elevations (~1050m / 3500 ft.), so I was worried I might not see the species in flower, given the detour made to hopefully see it. But, a few kilometres later, there it was.
Lastly, I recently received an email request asking what camera equipment I use. I’ve updated the list of equipment used on the About Botany Photo of the Day page, so that’s a good start if you’re curious. Most photographs taken by me this year have been with a (used) Canon 5D and the 100mm macro lens. My observation for myself is that it takes me at least a few months of significant use to become familiar with a lens and what I can expect. By late last year, I was finally comfortable with all of my lenses. However, this spring I purchased the new (used) camera, and because it captures a larger field of view compared to previous cameras, it’s required me to relearn all of my lenses — so I’ve rarely taken the macro lens off all spring / early summer until just this past trip. I hope that’s not too long of an answer for the question asked.