For an area with such short summers, the variety and color of the wildflowers in Alaska’s Denali National Park area is amazing. Before the snow is completely melted (early to mid-May), purple saxifrage, crowberry, horsetail, violets, arctic willow, cinquefoil and blueberry are just a few of the plants that are flowering.
BLUEBERRY BUSH ARCTIC WILLOW CINQUEFOIL
By the beginning of June the hillsides are a panorama of color with pink lousewort, blue lupine and yellow and pink moss campion. Alaska’s state flower, the forget-me-not, makes its appearance around this time with its tiny clusters of blue flowers. Some of these flowers have a short blooming season, so that by July the lousewort, lupine and the forget-me-nots are mostly gone.
LOUSEWORT LUPINE MOSS CAMPION FORGET-ME-NOT
The show continues in later June and July with additional flowering displays, including larkspur, monkshood, and the prolific fireweed. Columbine is blooming around this time and in wetter areas, the beautiful chocolate lily is making its appearance.
COLUMBINE LARKSPUR FIREWEED CHOCOLATE LILY
The display does not lose momentum in August and, along with most of the flowers from July still in bloom, added to that are the harebell, wild iris, and the daisy-like fleabane.
WILD IRIS FLEABANE HAREBELL
Most of the flowers have gone to seed by September but the color continues with the fall foliage. The dwarf dogwoods and blueberry bushes along the hillsides and slopes turn the landscape into vibrant shades of red with an almost purplish tone.
The flowers described above are just a sampling of the rich diversity in the area surrounding Denali National Park. For the flower enthusiast, this area has unlimited opportunities for exploring and learning.