New Friends

When I arrived in Southern Oregon, from Upstate New York, I immediately knew this could be my second home. After traveling across the country I passed through beautiful areas including the Badlands in South Dakota, Yellowstone and the Oregon coast but none compared to how at home I felt in the forests of Oregon. The combination of topography, abundant rivers, friendly people and of course rich plant diversity made me excited to explore the area and learn a whole new set of plants.

Rogue River Trail, Galice OR. About 4 miles from the house I’m living at! Plectritis congesta (Sea blush) in foreground.

My dear friend and fellow botanist in New York would introduce herself to new species, just as you greet a new friend. When I got to Oregon I was excited to see familiar plant friends and I just needed to know their last name or “species”.

There are many relatives of the east coast; native species such as Trillium, Trientalis (starflower), Cornus (flowering dogwood), Oxalis (wood sorrel) and members of Sarraceniaceae (pitcher plant family) and was unpleased to see familiar invasive species such as Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) and Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven).

Left: Trientalis boreali ssp. borealis (starflower) in Cranberry Lake, NY                                        Right: Trientalis borealis ssp.latifolia (broadleaf starflower) in Grants Pass, OR

Left: Sarracenia purpurea (northern pitcher plant) at Labrador Hollow, NY                                Right: Darlingtonia californica (California pitcher plant) at Eight Dollar Mountain, OR

The internship is going great, I’m learning a lot and I’m happy to work with other people that are intrigued with botany as much as I am! I’m excited to learn more and meet new friends – humans and plants.

Till next time,

Sienna McDonald

BLM Grants Pass, OR


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