Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii

Wildflower reports coming out of Washington state (via Oregon Wildflowers) note that one of the earliest flowers of the year, Douglas’ grasswidow, is blooming along the Catherine Creek Trail. These photographs were taken three years ago at the same site in mid-March.

The first photograph displays the typical colour of the tepals, while the second image shows a nearby paler variant. Colours of the tepals can range from white to dark-purple. Though they are most often solidly-coloured, they can also display some variegation. Paul Slichter, who runs the Wildflowers of the Columbia River Gorge, has extensive photo-documentation of tepal colour variation in the species: Olsynium douglasii. Note that Paul also took photographs from the Catherine Creek site in early March of 2012 and observed a white-flowered variant, which I suspect had finished blooming by the time I visited.

Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii has been previously featured on Botany Photo of the Day, with an entry that discusses the name and a photograph of wild-collected material grown here at UBC Botanical Garden. I suspect it will be at least a couple weeks before we see any hint of flowers from our plants.

The Burke Museum also has additional images: Olsynium douglasii, while the Garry Oaks Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) has propagation information and gardening conditions: Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii.

Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii
Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii
Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii

7 responses to “Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii”


    See some light varients from my place in North Central Idaho here:

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Thanks Gerry–I think you have also photographed the interior variety, Olsynium douglasii var. inflatum.

  3. Lee Foote

    Nice photos too. Good use of depth of field to give an almost ethereal feel to the hillside. The lens seems to do things our eyes can’t or won’t do by restricting attention to the close flowers. It inspires me to try to be a better plant photographer.
    Lee Foote

  4. Caroline

    Exquisite, Daniel. Thank you!


    Thanks for the correction on the subspecies. I learned it as S. inflatum.

  6. Jim Varnum

    Your photos show 5-petal flowers, unusual, but not unknown, for a monocot. Bing images shows one with 7 petals. Interesting stuff.

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    The 6th tepals are hidden by the way the photographs were taken.

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