Coastal Paintbrush Honey Flower

Castilleja unalaschcensis (Cham. & Schlecht.) Malte anisnaadam saaxaraa, aan-isnaadam saaxarangin or qaatungin bumblebee's sugar or favorite food The stems arise from a hard, woody root and are upright and leafy, 8 to 24 tall. The leaves are alternate, long and lanceolate, ribbed, and often reddish green. The flowering top is a soft, tufted bundle of yellowish green, pubescent, rounded bracts. In the fall, the leaves and bracts disappear and the stems dry stiff. They bear at their top a...

Burnet Sitka Great Burnet

Sanguisorba stipulata Raf. ( S. sitchensis C. A. Mey.) Emerging from a thick rootstock, the long and bending leaves are composed of numerous pairs of sharply serrated, oblong leaflets. The young leaflets are often folded. The upright flowering stems are 8 to 32 tall and topped with a dense, elongate spike of small apetalous flowers. Most noticeable are the long white filaments. In bloom, burnet looks like a frilly white bottle-brush. The flowers are very fragrant. The name Sanguisorba means to...

Sibbaldia

A low-growing plant with woody perennial stems forming mats. The small leaves, held on reddish petioles, are divided into three wedge-shaped (cuneate) leaflets, each tipped with three teeth. The stems and leaves are pubescent. The flowering stems, to 4 tall, are crowded with tiny yellow star-like flowers the five widely spaced petals are shorter than the surrounding sepals. Sibbaldia's tiny flowers are inconspicuous, but the attractive, thrice-divided leaves may catch the eye. The plant thrives...

Kinnikinnick Mealberry Bearberry

Kinnikinnick is an abundant plant forming a ground cover with trailing stems. The long, woody, flexible branches are covered with leathery, teardrop-shaped green leaves. Blooming early, it bears clusters of small, pale pink, urn-shaped flowers, later forming bright red berries. The berries have applelike, pithy white centers. They are edible but not especially tasty. Kinnikinnick favors hillsides and slopes, often trailing over cutbanks and bluff tops. It is...

Purple Mountain Saxifrage

Plants form a compact mat of crowded, branching stems densely covered with very small leaves. The leaves are about W long, ovate, and fringed with stiff hairs. Held opposite each other, they overlap like scales in four rows along the stems. The showy flowers are purple and held singly on the stem tips. The five rounded petals are about 3 s long. In full bloom the flowers nearly cover the mat of leaves. Purple mountain saxifrage is an exceptionally early bloomer, the bright purple flowers...

Blueberry Highbush or Early Blueberry

Blueberry bushes tend to grow in patches. They are usually waist to shoulder high, with sturdy branches, and thin angled branchlets. Older bushes become dense and woody and their branches look bleached. The leaves are ovate and glabrous, bright green and thin in the spring, turning flaming orange and yellow in the fall. The pale pink urn-shaped flowers bloom very early in spring, appearing when the shrub just begins to leaf out. From late August to early November the bushes bear an abundance of...

Seacoast Angelica St Paul Putchki Strong Putchki

Angelica lucida L. ( Coelopleurum gmelinii) (E) saaqudiigamax, saaqdigimagax, suqudmix (A) saaqudax (E) sxilax, simxux, also possibly other parsley family members Seacoast angelica is a coarse, stout, leafy plant emerging from a thick and tuberous root. The stems are hollow, 20 to 48 tall, and often reddish-streaked. The compound leaves emerge from a sheathlike base, and the numerous leaflets are held in opposite pairs along the petiole, ending in a group of three leaflets. The leaflets are...

Bog Orchid Cornflower

Platanthera convallariaefo-lia (Fischer) Lindley chaxitxam kangaa, from chaxilix to dig out and kangaa above Emerging from a thick, elongated, tuber-like root, the single stems are smooth and hollow, 4 to 20 tall. The leaves are long and lance shaped, clasping the lower stem, becoming smaller and narrower up the stem until they resemble the narrow bracts crowded within the flowering spike. The long spike of pale greenish-yellow flowers is very fragrant. While many plants grow to only a foot...

Dwarf Dogwood Bunchberry Lapland or Swedish Dwarf Cornel

Unalaska Orchids

This is a lovely, low-growing, white-flowered plant. Emerging from rhizomes, the flowering stems are upright, 4 to 12 tall. The oval, pointed leaves, with distinct parallel veins, are held in whorls around the stem. What appears to be four broad white petals are actually petaloid bracts. They often have what looks like a rosy stain. The bracts surround a dense cluster of tiny flowers which later develop into shiny red berries. The berries are pulpy and rather inedible, but not poisonous. Dwarf...

Purple Orchid Showy Orchid

(Fisch.) Soo ( Orchis aristata Fisch.) (E) quungdiix This is also the word for monks-hood (both plants are known to be toxic) tungsungax Emerging from thick, forked tubers, the flowering stems are smooth and 5 to 8 tall. The leaves are lance shaped, up to 4 long, and often have dark purplish brown spots. The flowers are showy, held in a short spike and are rose purple, occasionally pink, or very rarely white. Purple orchids bloom very early in the spring, first appearing on south-facing...

Orchid Family Orchidaceae

Orchids emerge from bulbs, corms, rhizomes, or tuberous roots. Nearly all Aleutian orchids have very fragrant roots, even those with blossoms that have no fragrance. Many have a symbiotic relationship between their roots and certain fungi. For this reason, and the fact that many are rare species, it is best not to try transplanting them. The leaves of orchids are usually simple and entire, and they often sheathe the stem. The flowers are composed of three sepals and three petals, a deceptively...

Bering Bog Orchid

Var. behringiana (Ryd-berg) Hult. ( Habenaria behringiana (Rydb.) Ames., Limnor-chis behringiana Rydb.) Emerging from a forked and fleshy tuber-like root, the single stem is up to 7 4 tall. The stem is smooth and upright, rounded below the leaves, squared and striate above them. The one or two leaves are elliptic to lance shaped, up to 4 long and wide, shiny on the upper surface and with a duller sheen beneath. The lower leaf sheathes the stem and is larger than the upper leaf. The flowering...

Rose Family Rosaceae

Among the roses are some of our favorite flowers and berries the bright yellow Potentilla spp. and Geum spp., the fragrant burnet (Sanguisorba stipulata), the salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis), nagoon berries (Rubus arcticus), and wild strawberries (Fragaria chiloensis). Most have showy flowers that are pollinated by insects, and in the Unalaska area all have five petals, except the burnet, which has none. The leaves are highly variable and often striking. The family includes both woody and...

Wild Strawberry Beach Strawberry

Trailing Wild Strawberry

(E) tudungax, tudungux, atudungax (A) tudunam tanasinin, tuzaangu x A low-growing plant with long, red runners, this strawberry has stems covered with long, silky hairs. The leaves are divided into three coarsely serrated leaflets, which are shiny green above, pale and silky underneath. The flowers have five white, rounded petals and yellow centers. The fruit is a small but very sweet, bright red berry. Finding a patch of wild strawberries while out hiking is a noteworthy delight, since they...

Choris Bog Orchid

(Cham.) Rchb. ( Habenaria chorisiana Cham., Limnorchis chorisiana (Cham.) J. P. Anders.) Emerging from a fleshy thickened root, the glabrous, grooved stem is 2 W to 6 tall, and often slightly bending. The two oval leaves near the base of the stem have a shiny upper surface, and the lower leaf is rounder and wider where it meets the stem, relative to the upper leaf. A small, narrow leaf-like bract appears on the upper stem. The flowers are fragrant, greenish, and very small, the sepals and...

Alaska Piperia Alaska Bog Orchid

(Spreng.) Kurtz ( Piperia unalaschcensis (Spreng.) Rydb., Ha-benaria unalashcensis (Spreng.) Wats.) Alaska piperia is easily distinguished from the other small orchids by its sweetish but disagreeable smell. Emerging from a tuberlike root, the single stem is slender, glabrous, grooved, and 6 to 10 tall. The two to three basal leaves are oblong to lanceolate, and 1 4 to 2 4 long. The upper stem bears two to three small and narrow leaf-like bracts. The bract below each flower is much shorter than...

White Bog Orchid Bog Candles

(Pursh) Lindl. ( Habenaria dilatata (Pursh) Hook., Limnorchis dilatata (Pursh) Rydb.) (E) chaxitxax, tugdukax (A) chagitxax Emerging from a thick, elongated, tuber-like root, the single stems are smooth and hollow, usually less than 14 tall. The leaves are long and lance shaped, clasping the lower stem, becoming smaller and narrower up the stem until they resemble the narrow bracts crowded within the flowering spike. The long spike of snow-white flowers is highly perfumed. White bog orchids...

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Emerging from elongate rhizomes, the stems are 4 to 16 tall. Highly variable, the stems may be tall and branching into many heads, or shorter with a single head and stem. The stems and leaves are glabrous to sparsely covered with soft hairs beneath. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, the margins varying from slightly serrated to entire. The flowering heads have narrow, pointed, bluish purple rays surrounding the yellow central disks. A September companion, the Siberian aster shares in the...

Russian Cow Parsnip Wild Celery

This is a huge, spreading plant with tall, jointed stalks, and a stout, woody taproot. The whole plant often stands head high. The stems are hollow and thick. Leaves are large, flat, and crinkled, thrice divided and coarsely toothed. The leaves emerge from large woolly sheaths. The small white flowers are borne in a many-rayed umbel, forming large, flat heads. When the plant dries, the stalks turn silvery black and brittle the flower tops turn black and seedy, looking burned. The putchki is a...

Introduction

Eric Hulten, renowned authority on arctic plants, distinguished four major floral regions in Alaska, yet wrote, The Aleutian Islands should perhaps be regarded as a fifth floral region Hulten 1968 . Strewn like seeds in the wind, Alaska's Aleutian Islands are flung out into the stormy North Pacific for eleven hundred miles. The islands break the seas as a spine of volcanic mountains, hemming in the Bering Sea to the north, and reaching in an arc between western North America and eastern Asia....

Heath Family Ericaceae

Heaths are low-growing shrubs with simple leaves. In many species the leaves are stiff, leathery, and evergreen. The flowers are composed of four or five fused sepals and four or five petals which are also partly united or fused together. The family includes the familiar two species of blueberries Vaccinium ovalifolium, V. uliginosum , the lingonberry Vaccinium vitis-idea , alpine bearberry Arctostaphylos alpina , and kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi , and the Aleutian heathers Phyllodoce...

Wild Rhubarb Great Western Dock

Rumex fenestratus Greene R. occidentalis Macoun tall and robust plant emerging from a thick taproot, its stalk is stout, grooved and sectioned, often reddish tinged, and to six feet tall or more. The large ribbed leaves are longer than they are broad and the margins are repand slightly undulating . The lower leaves are largest, held on long stems, and are often cordate, or heart-shaped, at the base. The leaves become progressively smaller up the stalk. The top branches form a dense, elongated...