Seeing an Old Friend Again

Published at 11:04 on 8 June 2019

As part of my investigation of less-expensive places to move to, I recently took an overnight trip to Olympia. I spent the night camped in the nearby Capitol State Forest. It was there that I noticed a ground cover which I hadn’t seen since I moved away from Portland (where it is very common in Forest Park):

Inside-Out Flower (Vancouveria hexandra) dominates the lower part of the frame.
Inside-Out Flower (Vancouveria hexandra), close-up of flower.

Inside-Out Flower gets its common name from how strongly reflexed its petals are. It is one of a number of woodland flowers which are quite common in western Oregon and the southern half of western Washington, but almost completely absent from the northern half of western Washington. I suspect Ice Age glaciation might have something to do with that distribution.

Olympia is about as far north as you normally see it, though I have received a report of it being seen here on Bainbridge Island, in an apparently natural setting, this spring.

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