Your Mount St. Helens Honeysuckle. Plus: Bodacious Botany

See, my darlings, you always come through! Kilian Hekhuis and Lithified Detritus were able to identify our orange clarinets as Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa). Can you believe that for once we have a beautiful flower that is a native? Awesomesauce!

I found some down by the shores of Silver Lake this summer. B and I had just arrived as the sun was lowering in the sky, and it shone upon this lovely flowering plant, which was just short of bursting into full bloom.

Image shows an Orange Honeysuckle cluster. The orange blooms are still closed, but on the verge of opening. Sad to say, they look a bit like a bunch of dildoes. Behind them is an oblong leaf or bract that's pointed at the ends. The sun is shining through it, making it semi-transparent and highlighting the veins.
Orange Honeysuckle at Silver Lake.

This is one of my favorite photos of a flower I have ever taken. The sun was absolutely perfect.

The honeysuckle was climbing a bank with some rose bushes, and everything was budding, and it probably would have been spectacular if B and I had just come a few days later. Oh, well. It’s still quite pretty, as you can see here:

Image shows the honeysuckle climbing from a bank of rose bushes and other plants. The honeysuckle has two clusters of buds so far. There are pink rosebuds scattered around it.
Honeysuckle and roses. This is like my dream garden right here.

There were too many clouds that day, and they prevented us from seeing our magnificent mountain. But I can skip forward to July for you, and show you a never-before-seen panorama of her south side summit.

Image shows the summit of Mount St. Helens. It's mostly gray, with some patches of snow clinging on here and there. Darker gray lava flows snake down her flanks. To the left, dust from rock falls within in the crater is visible, although the crater is not.
Mount St. Helens, viewing the summit from the volcano viewpoint at Ape Cave.

See the dust rising from rock falls within the crater? Can you identify the old lava flows? How gorgeous is this!

Right. Let us now leave our favorite mountain, and go attend the wedding of two of the best people in my life. My heart sister Nicole Gilbertson got married to her beloved Brandi Gilbertson this fall, and they sent me this photo of some pretty bonza botany that graced the tables at their reception.

Image shows a small succulent in a pot, with someone's fingers reaching down from above to gently touch it. The leaves are thick green serrated spikes, like little flamberge swords fanned out and stuck hilt-down in the pot. The flower is a round rouge circle with a hollow center, looking like a lifesaver. Behind it is a star of five tan-yellow petals with brown zebra stripes through them.
Mystery Botany. Photo courtesy Brandi Gilbertson.

Is that not one of the sweetest succulents you’ve ever seen? I hope it’s as fun to identify as it is to look at!

Your Mount St. Helens Honeysuckle. Plus: Bodacious Botany

4 thoughts on “Your Mount St. Helens Honeysuckle. Plus: Bodacious Botany

  1. 1

    Wonderful photo. Love it. :-)

    (That first one. Others are pretty good too.)

    Is it me or did Mt St Helens used to have more snow cover? Is that just faulty memory or seasonal issue or something more?

  2. 2

    It’s a succulent milkweed related to Stapelia maybe a Hoodia? There are several related genera, but nice plants to collect. Probably fly pollinated, so floral fragrance is generally unpleasant.

  3. 4

    It did before it became a couple thousand feet shorter. At 8363 feet, it probably isn’t tall enough for permanent snowpack any more, although the crater glacier survives because of being in shadow much of the time.

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