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Alaska Wildflower Photos

Lupine wildflowers

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Fireweed Photos
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Alaska Wildflower Photos

Being so far North, Alaska's growing season can be quite short and harsh. However, wildflowers flourish and paint the meadows with lush color. At Alaska Stock Images, you will always find many Alaska photos including beautiful Alaska Wildflower Photos. To find more pictures of Alaska or photos of wildlfowers, visit our search page.

Turnagain Arm wildflowers
Wildflowers along Turnagain Arm
The Alaska Fireweed is "Alaska's Calendar." Atypical of most flowers, the Fireweed blooms from the bottom petals and works its way up. As the petals open over a course of a few weeks, it eventually becomes "topped out" and Alaskans regard this as the sign that summer is nearly over. Vast fields of Fireweed can be seen throughout Alaska and are the perfect roadside decoration. Fireweed comes in two varieties: the standard Fireweed plant and Dwarf Fireweed. Dwarf Fireweed typically grows in more arctic and harsh areas of Alaska while the standard Fireweed can grow as high as five and six feet in the warm and sunny climates of the Kenai Peninsula. In the old days, Alaskan homesteaders did not always have access to many of the food supplies as more populated areas, so invented substitutes would often be created:
Field of Fireweed
Field of Fireweed

        Alaskan Homesteaders Fireweed Honey

          50 pink clover blooms
          10 white clover blooms
          18-25 Fireweed blooms
          3/4 tsp Alum
          5 # white sugar
          3 cups boiling water

        • Wash blooms in cold water (gently rinse) to remove little critters.
        • Put all ingredients except water in pan, then pour boiling water on.
        • Let sit for 10 minutes.
        • Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.
        • Strain through cheesecloth.
        • Put in canning jars and water bath process for 10 min. before sealing lids.

Forget-me-not wildflower
State Flower: Forget-me-not

Another favorite wildflower is the Forget-me-not, which also has the official title as the Alaska State Flower. The Arctic version of the flower is the more common variety in Alaska and it coloring is apt for the state. Consisting of a small five-petaled blue bloom with a yellow "eye," the Forget-me-not is of the same coloring as Alaska's State Flag. The plant is known to be very hearty and can grab hold in sandy and gravelly soil. It flourishes as far north as Barrow on the Arctic Ocean.

Perhaps the most exotic flower is found in the Southcentral area of Alaska including the Kenai Peninsula. The Chocolate Lily, also known as Indian Rice, is a beautiful rich brown color. Although the odor is considered unpleasant, the bloom truly looks chocolately enough to eat. The plant can grow up to 24 inches tall and thrives best in moist lowland meadows. A flower that often grows along side of the Chocolate lily is the Wild Iris. Blooming in mid to late June, the Wild Iris often grows in large fields and
Chocolate Lilly
Chocolate Lilly
meadows with high water content. One of the best viewing areas for both the Wild Iris and the Chocolate Lily is the "Eklutna Flats" directly south of the village of Eklutna along the Glenn Highway. Like the Lily, the Wild Iris is best viewed in early summer and has a short bloom period.Another prolific bloom is the Nootka Lupine. The Lupine, with its deep blue and purplish coloring, can easily be spotted throughout Alaska. This plant can also grow quite tall (nearly five feet) and is hearty enough to grow on gravel bars, dry slopes, as well as meadows. Often seen blooming along the highways, the Lupine, like the Fireweed, is a popular photography subject. Areas around the Seward Highway near the turn off for Portage Glacier are good for photographing Lupine with the Turnagain Arm and Kenai Mountains as a breath-taking backdrop.

Sparrow sitting on Lupine
Sparrow sitting on Lupine

Books of Interest

Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways

Alaska's Wild Plants: A Guide to Alaska's Edible Harvest

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