Wildflowers and berries in Alaska are truly beautiful and everywhere. Twenty hours of sunlight during the summer and the natural cool, moist summers make the state a wildflower paradise. The park setting of Kasilof RV Park allows one to truly enjoy the serenity and the natural beauty of the wildflowers and wildlife that are plentiful in the park. In addition, the park is surrounded by a natural area where wildflowers and plants flourish and an undeveloped forest area at the back of the park overlooking Crooked Creek.
Across the road is Johnson Lake which supports a large water lily bed plus a bog area with unusual flowering plants. Following are photos of the flowers and berries that we have found in the park and the surrounding areas. Many of the following flower photos are from Mary Hopson’s ‘Alaskan Wildflowers‘ which features many wonderful photos of Alaskan wildflowers.
The park has natural areas between each of the RV sites. These natural areas abound with a large variety of flowering plants and berries. The ground is covered with the small green leaves of the low bush cranberries which bloom in the spring and have bright red fruit in the fall.
In addition, there are areas where dwarf Dogwood blooms in the spring and then has inedible berries in the fall. These plants provide a cover for the very fertile soil that is made up of peat and other humus.
A large variety of other plants make up the natural areas between the RV sites. Wild Daisies are very prolific and last most of the summer. Buttercups and sweet clover usually bloom earlier in the summer.
Purple Lupin also blooms early in the summer followed by Dutch Iris. It is common for the natural areas to support the ground cover of Dogwood and Cranberries and then have other flowers coming up through them and blooming above them.
In the early spring, large clumps of green start rising out of the natural areas and by mid-June the long stems are covered with ‘Bluebells’ and ‘Wild Geraniums’. Although each have a short blooming period, the plants continue to provide a green cover.
Mid-summer finds the Larkspur (Delphinium) bloom on tall stocks around the Lodge building both in pink and purple. Then peaks out the beautiful Chocolate Lilies hidden among the huge ferns at the back of the Lodge.
High-bush Cranberries are also prolific in the park in all of the natural areas and along the front. They bloom through the summer and produce fruit which ripens usually in the fall when the leaves begin to turn a bright red. There are other edible berries also in the park including red Raspberries, black Currants, wild Strawberries, Elder berries, Watermelon berries and the low-bush Cranberries.
And we shouldn’t forget about our state flower, the ‘Forget-me-not’. These beautiful blue flowers cover large areas of the natural areas in the park.
We have a large number of wild rose bushes in the park, most the pinkish red. However, we have found several wild white roses. These bushes flower most of July and into August followed by a multitude of rose hips. In August and September, the Goldenrod add color to the beginning change in the temperature.
And we should never forget what I consider flowers that truly define Alaska, ‘Fireweed’. The new shoots start appearing as the snow melts and the surface ground thaws. The locals called these shoots, ‘Alaska Asparagus’. The stem grows during the spring and then in early July pods begin to appear at the top of the stem and continue to appear as the stem grows sometimes up to three feet. In mid-July, the pods begin to open revealing the bright reddish strands of blooms.
In some areas, the ‘Fireweed’ covers large areas of the open ground. Here the sun make the plants grow taller and the color is more intense. Indian lore says, ‘When the flowers reach the end of the stem, snow falls in six weeks’. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that when the blooms reach the end of the stem, the pods open to release the seeds to the wind. The seeds are similar to seeds from the ‘Dandelion’ with feather like tops that carrying the seed on the wind. I have to admit that sometimes it appears that it is snowing.
And finally although this does not include all of the flowering plants that surround the area of the Kasilof RV Park, each summer we have a somewhat rare plant that we enjoy seeing and showing to all that are here. Northern Yarrow is very common across Alaska, but it is unusual for the flowers to be pink. The soil conditions have to be just right for this phenomena to occur. You will just have to come and see it for yourself. Please do!
MH photos by Mary Hopson
|Alaska Cotton Grass-Mary Hopson|
|Trailing Raspberry-Mary Hopson|
|Wild Iris-Mary Hopson|
|Mary Hopson Geranium|
|Orange Hawkweed – Mary Hopson|
|Yellow Anemone-Mary Hopson|
|Watermellon Berry Flowers (MH)|
|Watermelon Berries-Mary Hopson|
|Sitka Burnet-Mary Hopson|
|Wild Mustard-Mary Hopson|