Boise Wildflower Field Guide Introduction

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I have been working on this common Boise wildflower field guide for six years. It is designed to help the hiker or nature enthusiast or amateur naturalist (like me!) identify 80 of the most common native and non-native wildflower species found in Camel’s Back Park, Ridge to Rivers, and the surrounding Boise foothills of Southwestern Idaho.

It provides basic information about each wildflower, photos of each wildflower taken almost exclusively in Camel’s Back Park and Ridge to Rivers, and trails and trail areas where each wildflower can be found.


Key to Trail Areas

I identified wildflowers in Camel’s Back Park and Ridge to Rivers in three trail areas of the Boise foothills:

  • Trails in and around Camel’s Back Park
  • Trails in and around Hulls Gulch
  • Trails in and around Military Reserve

Each area encompasses many trails. Below is a list of hiking trails for each trail area.

  • Camel’s Back Park

    • #34 – Hulls Pond Loop
    • #35 – Goldfinch Trail
    • #35A – Redwinged Blackbird
    • #36 – Red Fox Trail
    • #36A – Chickadee Ridge
    • #37 – Owl’s Roost
    • #38 – The Grove
    • #40 – Camel’s Back Trail
    • #40 – 15th Street Trail
  • Hulls Gulch

    • #0 – Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail
    • #4 – 8th Street Motorcycle Trail
    • #24 – Sidewinder Trail
    • #28 – Crestline Trail
    • #29 – Lower Hulls Gulch Trail
    • #39A – Kestral Trail
    • #39 – Red Cliffs Trail
    • #42 – Fat Tire Traverse
  • Military Reserve

    • #20 – Ridge Crest
    • #20A – Bucktail Trail
    • #22 – Central Ridge Trail
    • #22A – Central Ridge Spur South
    • #22B – Central Ridge Spur North
    • #22B – Freestone Creek Trail
    • #22C – Mountain Cove
    • #23 – Military Reserve Connection
    • #23A – Elephant Rock Loop
    • #25 – Eagle Ridge Trail
    • #25A – Eagle Ridge Loop
    • #26 – Three Bears Trail
    • #26A – Shane’s Trail
    • #27 – Cottonwood Creek Trail
    • #27A – Toll Road Trail

A map of all trails can be found on the Ridge to Rivers website.


Best Trails to View Wildflowers

Here is a list of what I have found to be the best trails in each area to view native wildflowers.

  • Camel’s Back Park

    • #36 – Red Fox Trail
    • #36A – Chickadee Ridge
    • #38 – The Grove
  • Hulls Gulch

    • #0 – Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail
    • #4 – 8th Street Motocycle Trail
    • #24 – Sidewinder Trail
    • #28 – Crestline Trail
    • #39 – Red Cliffs Trail (certain areas)
  • Military Reserve

    • #22 – Mountain Cove Trails (#22A-C)
    • #23 – Military Reserve Connection
    • #26 – Three Bears Trail

 Guide Contents

Boise Wildflowers (March-September)


List of Species Covered

  • Aase’s Onion
  • Alfalfa
  • Arrowleaf Balsamroot
  • Autumn Willowherb
  • Ballhead Waterleaf
  • Bare-stemmed Biscuitroot
  • Bitterbrush
  • Bitter Cherry
  • Blue-Eyed Mary
  • Cinquefoil
  • Climbing Nightshade
  • Columbia Puccoon
  • Common Eriophyllum
  • Common Fiddleneck
  • Common Mullein
  • Common Soapwort
  • Common Sunflower
  • Cornflower
  • Crane’s Bill
  • Curly Cup Gumweed
  • Cushion Buckwheat
  • Desert Madwort
  • Douglas’s Dusty Maiden
  • Douglas’s Brodiaea
  • Elegant Rockcress
  • Eyelash Plant
  • Firecracker Beardtongue
  • Fleabane
  • Globemallow
  • Golden Currant
  • Gray’s Biscuitroot
  • Gray Hawksbeard
  • Hairy Wild-cabbage
  • Hermit Milkvetch
  • Hoary Aster
  • Hooker’s Onion
  • Hot Rock Penstemon
  • Jim Hill Mustard
  • Klamath Weed
  • Large-flowered Collomia
  • Larkspur
  • Longleaf Phlox
  • Longspur Lupine
  • Lupine
  • Miner’s Lettuce
  • Mock Orange Syringa
  • Narrow-leaf Collomia
  • Nevada Pea
  • Nineleaf Biscuitroot
  • Oregon Checkermallow
  • Oregon Grape
  • Pale Evening Primrose
  • Penstemon
  • Poison Hemlock
  • Prairie Flax
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Pursh’s Milkvetch
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Sagebrush
  • Sagebrush Buttercup
  • Sagebrush Mariposa Lily
  • Salad Burnet
  • Scarlet Gilia
  • Scotch Thistle
  • Showy Milkweed
  • Silverleaf Phacelia
  • Slender Phlox
  • Spiny Phlox
  • Spreading Dogbane
  • Star Lily
  • Sticky Geranium
  • Strict Forget-me-not
  • Sweet Clover
  • Tapertip Hawksbeard
  • Threadleaf Phacelia
  • Valley Violet
  • Watercress
  • Woodlandstar
  • Wood’s Rose
  • Yarrow
  • Yellow Salsify

Photography

I took almost all photographs of wildflowers in Camel’s Back Park and Ridge to Rivers except in a few instances. The other photos are from Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons, or are sourced.


Bibliography


From The Seed Collection