Native Plants at Franklin Falls

An early morning hike to Franklin Falls in the Cascade Mountains presented a beautiful assortment of northwest native plants. The dwarf dogwood, or bunchberry, carpeted the sides of the trail with it’s petite presence, like a bright little star lighting the way. When I saw the false hellebore I was astonished at it’s size, growing 3-4 feet off the forest floor. I was not familiar with this plant and was even more astonished to find out that it is one of the most violently poisonous plants on the Northwest Coast. Good to know and remember!  I saw lots of the native Tiarella and Vaccinium, although I’m not sure which species of blueberry/huckleberry it was.  The Twin flower was a pleasant surprise.  It was just a small patch that I happened to glance on the side of the trail.  I wish I had lingered longer because I missed out on its sweet scent.   The Twin Flower was supposedly the favorite of Linnaeus, the famous taxonomist, and was named after him.

Franklin Falls is near Snoqualmie Pass on the South fork of the Snoqualmie River.  The falls consist of three tiers totaling 135 feet.  The final 70 foot drop is what we saw at the end of the trail, quite spectacular and misty wet.  The rocks were sharp and the air vibrated with the pounding water, quite a change from the tranquil forest.  The hike is only two miles round trip on a well kept trail with terrific views of the river.  And a great place to see native plants!

3 thoughts on “Native Plants at Franklin Falls

  1. That does look like a great place to beat the heat during our two-day summer! The berry shrub–was it in fruit or flower? The leaves are too large for Vaccinium parviflorus, not glossy enough for ovatum. It kind of looks like snowberry, but could be the ‘other’ Vaccinium whose name escapes me right now, the decidous, mid-elevation dark-berried one. Got to get our Pojar & McKinnon’s out!

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