Sitka/Vascular Plants

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So far 113 species of vascular plant have been noted on the wiki as occurring in the Sitka area.

Documented and Reported Species

Actaea rubraUncommonAbundance seems to vary by watershed - it is fairly common in mature open forests of Blue Lake Valley but much less common in Indian River Valley where it seems to be restricted to near stream banks. Also found along forest/beach margins and beach meadows where it is uncommon, as at Pirate's Cove and Sealion Cove.
Adiantum aleuticumFairly CommonScattered, but usually not hard to find in appropriate habitat. Occasionally abundant. Most easily observed on wet cliffs along Sawmill Creek Road or Blue Lake Road.
Angelica genuflexaFairly CommonWidespread and usually fairly easy to find in appropriate habitat. Most easily observed along shore of Swan Lake.
Anthoxanthum odoratumFairly CommonFairly common species along roadsides and disturbed places along the road system.
Arnica lanceolata?Widespread in the area. Primarily found growing in riparian areas. Grows along Indian River?
Arnica lessingii?Near town, has been found in at least one location on Bear Mountain above 3500 feet.
Asplenium virideOccasionalAlong the road system most easily observed along Mosquito Cove Trail where a plant grows at the base of a cliff. Has also been reported from similar habitat near Beaver Lake. Fairly common on the ultramafic outcrops of Red Bluff Bay.
Cakile edentulaUncommonMost easily found on sandy beaches of Kruzof Island, including Kamenoi Point Beach and Sealion Cove.
Caltha palustrisNo reports from the road system, nor nearby areas. Found in the northern part of the area on Chichagof Island (Lake Leo, Patterson Bay), and at Lake Eva on Baranof Island.
Calypso bulbosaLocally AbundantAbundant under Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) in shore side forests along several Kruzof Island beaches. Also found on the Chaichei Islands. So far not reported from Baranof Island.
Campanula lasiocarpaUncommonFound above treeline along most/all mountain ridges.
Carex aquatilisCommonCommon in the area. Most easily observed at Swan Lake where it is the dominant lake-side sedge.
Carex laeviculmisFairly CommonSeems to be fairly common in open moist habitats.
Carex lenticularisFairly CommonWidespread and Fairly Common to Abundant. Can be found growing around town in disturbed areas with sufficient moisture, such as the gravel path on the peninsula at Swan Lake.
Carex leptalea?Reported from Indian River Valley, probably more widespread but easily overlooked.
Carex lividaFairly CommonFairly common in many muskegs, though occasionally absent (unclear why).
Carex macrocephalaLocally AbundantAbsent along the road system, where preferred habitat is generally absent. Abundant along sandy shores of Kruzof Island.
Chrysosplenium tetrandrumSo far known from Lake Eva in the Sitka area.
Cicuta douglasii?Seems to be rare, at best. Has been reported along road system, but does not seem to be established. Perhaps suitable habitat is lacking.
Clintonia unifloraSo far not found on the west side of Baranof Island. Has been collected or reported from near Lake Eva, near Takatz Lake, and at Gut Bay. Also reported from the east side of Chichagof Island, but closer to Tenakee.
Corallorhiza trifida?So far found in valley near Patterson Bay on Chichagof Island and Blue Lake Creek valley. The latter location will be flooded when the dam is raised.
Cryptogramma acrostichoidesOccasionalThis seems to be the less common of two similar Cryptogramma species in suitable habitats near the road system. Collected from Blue Lake Road (in the 1950s) and Harbor Mountain in 2010, also reported from Bear Mountain. Common on the ultramafic bluffs at Red Bluff Bay.
Cryptogramma sitchensisFairly CommonThe more common of two Cryptogramma species in the area. Most easily found along Harbor-Gavan Trail where it transits the south slopes of Harbor Mountain.
Diphasiastrum alpinumUncommonRecorded from a few locations mostly in the subalpine/alpine, but seems to be much less common than Alaskan Clubmoss (Diphasiastrum sitchense) in this area.
Diphasiastrum complanatumRareFound on rock outcrop along Mount Verstovia Trail. May not be any other records from the area.
Diphasiastrum sitchenseCommonEasy to find in subalpine tundra of most ridges near town, including along Harbor-Gavan Trail, where it is easy to observe.
Draba grandisFound at Old Sitka and Magic Island on the road system. Probably fairly common to abundant growing in bedrock cracks/crevices at or just above the splash zone of exposed shorelines.
Drosera anglica?Seems to be absent from west Baranof Island and Kruzof Island, but has been found near Baranof Warm Springs and is apparently common in many bogs on West Chichagof Island - including near While Sulphur Hotsprings and Lake Suloia.
Eleocharis palustris?Infrequently reported, though rather nondescript appearance may result in its being overlooked. Most easily observed at Swan Lake where Wrinkleneck Creek flows in. Also reported from Red Bluff Bay and Goulding Lake.
Equisetum arvenseCommonWidespread and common in open areas from sea level to subalpine. Often abundant at roadsides or other places of infrequent disturbance around town.
Equisetum fluviatileLocally AbundantAbundant in Thimbleberry Lake along the lower portion of the lake. Not reported from elsewhere along the road system. It probably occurs elsewhere in the area, but there are no other reports.
Equisetum sylvaticum?Reported from Mount Edgecumbe Trail where it may have been imported with gravel used to construct the trail.
Erigeron humilisFound above 3700 on Bear Mountain. Found at somewhat lower elevations on Chichagof Island karst in the vicinity of Rust Lake. Presumed to occur elsewhere in similar habitats.
Euphrasia mollis?Found on along Blue Lake Creek (prior to flooding). Also on Bear Mountain. Probably occurs elsewhere in the area, but plant is quite small and easy to overlook.
Gentiana platypetalaFairly CommonFairly common in subalpine meadows just above the tree line. Most easily observed along Harbor-Gavan Trail or Mount Verstovia Trail. Also occasionally found at lower elevations in wet locations, including cliffs along Green Lake Road and open fen-forest of Indian River Valley.
Geranium erianthumFairly CommonMost easily observed at Starrigavan or along Harbor-Gavan Trail where it traverses the south slopes of Harbor Mountain. Seems to be widespread in meadows from sea level to subalpine.
Glehnia littoralisReported to occur at Shelikof and Sea Lion Cove where it was not common.
Goodyera oblongifoliaUncommonSeems to be largely absent along the road system, though in recent years some plants have showed up in Totem Park. Also found on Middle Island and Kayak Island. Further from town, it's been found at Khvostof Lake.
Gymnocarpium disjunctumCommonAbundant in open forests at low elevations. Easy to observe along many area trails.
Gymnocarpium dryopterisCommonAbundant fern of lowland forests. Easily observed along most forest trails in town, including Totem Park.
Hordeum brachyantherumFairly CommonAlthough infrequently reported, expected to be fairly common along rocky shores throughout the area. Easily found on rocky beaches near town, especially where shoreline is composed of large rocks or bedrock.
Huperzia miyoshianaCommonCommonly found in forested areas. Easy to observe along most low elevation forest trails around town.  ?Restricted to lower elevations?
Hypericum perforatum?Reported from long-term parking area the airport, may be present elsewhere along the road system. Many plants in meadow area near John Brown's Beach.
Hypochaeris radicataUncommonNot hard to find in open disturbed locations, especially in the central area of town and on Japonski Island, but so far just as scattered plants.
Iris setosaUncommonMost well-known from Iris Meadows on Kruzof Island. Probably present in several flower beds around town, from transplants. Also found at Patterson Bay (Chichagof Island).
Isoëtes echinospora?Collections made from Beaver Lake and Falls Lake are the only reports from the area. Probably more common, but overlooked.
Isoëtes maritimaIn pools on ultramafic bluffs of Red Bluff Bay. Seems to be absent from the road system and near-town locations.
Isoëtes occidentalis?Collections labeled as this species have been made at Lake Eva, Long Lake, Osprey Lake, and a small lake at Still Harbor.
Juncus bufonius?Though easily overlooked, seems to be fairly common in moist disturbed areas around town. Unclear how common it is in outside human impacted locations.
Juncus castaneus?Infrequently reported. One record from south tributary of Blue Lake Creek. Also unconfirmed sightings on Bear Mountain and along the main river flowing into Red Bluff Bay.
Juncus ensifoliusUncommonAlong the road system most easily found along Thimbleberry-Heart Lake trail on wetter sections. Scattered observations from Baranof and Chichagof Islands.
Juncus filiformis?Collected from meadow in the valley above Rezanof Lake and from Gut Bay. Otherwise not reported from the area, though probably present elsewhere.
Juncus tenuis?Reported from drainage ditch at long-term parking area of airport. Unclear how widespread it may be in general.
Juniperus communis?Occasional in muskegs along/near the road system. Fairly common in muskegs on Kruzof Island.
Kalmia procumbensFairly CommonCommonly found in forested bogs and subalpine meadows or tundra. Around town, most easily observed along the Cross Trail.
Lapsana communis?At least one population currently present along embankment between Lake Street and Swan Lake. Present since at least 1996 when a collection was made on Pioneer Home grounds.
Leymus mollisCommonAbundant along upper edge of sandy and rocky beaches on western side of the area.  ?Maybe less common on the east side?
Lupinus nootkatensisCommonCommon plant of subalpine meadows and tundra. Less frequently in estuary meadows and along road sides at lower elevations. Most easily observed at Starrigavan or along Harbor-Gavan Trail.
Luzula multifloraFairly CommonSeems to be fairly common, but not typically abundant in any location. Along the road system it can be found in unmaintained open grassy areas.
Lycopodiella inundata?Seems to be absent from the road system and Kruzof Island. Has been reported from Red Bluff Bay, Sandy Bay and Big Bay on southern Baranof Island and from Otter Lake on West Chichagof Island.
Lycopodium lagopusMay be present at some alpine sites, further investigation needed (see discussion here).
Medicago lupulinaOccasionalFound on Japonski Island and Alice Island, probably elsewhere along the road system as well. Seems to be no more than uncommon in the area.
Mertensia maritimaAlong the road system, only found along beaches/road to Canon Island, where it may have been transplanted. Also reported from Kruzof Island and Hoonah Sound.
Microseris borealisFairly CommonCommon in many Kruzof Island muskegs, but absent from muskegs along the Sitka road system. Also found on outer part of southern Baranof Island.
Mimulus lewisiiRareIt has been found in several watersheds on gravel bars along rivers/streams from Blue Lake Creek and south. A single plant has been found near Rust Lake on Chichagof Island.
Mitella pentandraLocally AbundantSeems to be uncommon or absent in locations accessible from the road system. Best found at Starrigavan Ridge. Common riparian meadows above Rust Lake.
Montia parvifoliaUncommonWidespread but not typically abundant. Favors gravel bars along rivers, but also occasionally found in other locations.
Myrica galeOccasionalIn the area can be found at edge of beach forest and muskeg along Mount Edgecumbe Trail on Kruzof Island and near Goddard Hotsprings. Does not appear to be present along the road system.
Orthilia secundaFairly CommonSeems to be fairly widespread and occasionally abundant. Most easily found along Indian River Trail where it can be seen in several locations right beside the trail.
Oxytropis campestrisRareNot often reported in the area, though probably more widespread than currently known. Locations near town include high elevations of Bear Mountain, gravel bars of Blue Lake Creek. In the broader area, found near Rust Lake and along Red Bluff Bay River.
Papaver radicatumRareNear town, known only from ridge at 4000 feet on Bear Mountain and a couple of plants growing on a Blue Lake Creek gravel bar. Also has been found at Rust Lake and another location or two on Chichagof Island.
Parnassia kotzebuei?So far known only from alpine tundra on Bear Mountain where it has been observed at least twice.
Pedicularis ornithorhynchaCommonCommon to abundant in many (sub)alpine tundra locations around town. Most easily found on Harbor Mountain.
Petasites frigidusUncommonUncommon in moist seeps in subalpine and alpine locations. Also found along some streams. Most easily found on Starrigavan Ridge or Bear Mountain.
Pinguicula vulgarisCommonCommonly found throughout the area in open wet areas such as mossy seeps and wet bogs and meadows. From sea level to subalpine. Most easily observed along Harbor Mountain Road or Mosquito Cove Trail.
Plantago majorCommonCommon in graveled areas around town. Seems to be absent outside of human impacted locations.
Platanthera huronensisFNA does not show that this species occurs here
Platanthera strictaCommonMost common of the green orchids. Found from low elevations to subalpine in wet meadows and open transition areas. Most easily observed along Harbor Mountain Road.
Poa stenantha?Probably at least fairly common throughout the area based on a few collections. However, status is uncertain.
Polystichum andersoniiUncommonSeems to be widespread in appropriate habitat, but generally only in small numbers. Can be observed along Indian River Trail, and probably other forest trails around town as well.
Polystichum kruckebergiiRareAlmost certainly limited to ultramafic bluffs at Red Bluff Bay in the area, though smaller ultramafic outcrops on Baranof Island may be worth investigating.
Populus trichocarpaUncommonBasically absent from the road system except where it has been planted. Elsewhere in the area can be common along larger rivers draining high mountains in valleys such as Nakwasina Valley, Katlian Valley, Upper Blue Lake Valley, and Red Bluff Bay Valley.
Prunella vulgarisUncommonUncommon overall, but can be abundant in patches. Found on gravel bars along rivers and lakes as well as other gravelly disturbed areas, including road-sides around town.
Pteridium aquilinumOccasionalReported from scattered locations, in some places (e.g. the ultramafic bluffs at Red Bluff Bay) it is common, elsewhere just a few plants may be found. Most easily observed along the Sitka Cross Trail between the quarry road and Gavan Hill Trail in scrubby forest adjacent to muskegs.
Pyrola minorRareOnly Baranof Island record is from Blue Lake Creek. Also reported from Chichagof Island at Rust Lake and the karst ridge north of the lake.
Ranunculus acrisFairly CommonFound along road sides and other waste places. Especially common on Japonski Island.
Ranunculus cymbalariaHas been found on Kruzof Island:
Ranunculus uncinatusFairly CommonLack of showy flowers makes this plant easy to overlook, but it seems to be reasonably common, growing on gravelly soil with partial shade. Not difficult to find on along local trails including Indian River Trail.
Rhodiola integrifoliaUncommonInfrequently found, but can be abundant in locations where it occurs. Not easily found from the road system, as it's only been reported from Blue Lake Creek and in the alpine on Bear Mountain. Has also been found down to sea level at (Potato Patch and Red Bluff Bay).
Rubus arcticusUncommonInfrequent near town where it can be found in fens and beach meadows, though only at a few plants in any given location. May be locally abundant in other locations within the greater area.
Salix arctica?Near town, found on Bear Mountain. In outlying areas, has also been found in the vicinity of Rust Lake on Chichagof Island.
Salix reticulata?Found on Bear Mountain ridge at nearly 4000 feet. Also found on unnamed peak north of Rust Lake on Chichagof Island.
Sanguisorba menziesii?Seems to be much less common than Sanguisorba canadensis and Common Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). Difficult to identify when not flowering, so may be somewhat overlooked. Most easily found in Indian River Valley muskegs or on Harbor Mountain.
Saxifraga eschscholtzii?So far found in only three locations in the area; at relatively high elevation exposed rocky outcrops on Bear Mountain and on two of the Sisters.
Sceptridium multifidumOccasionalReported from near Beaver Lake on the road system. Seems to be more common in northern outlying locations where it's been found at Sealion Cove on Kruzof Island and at Potato Patch , Lake Elfendahl, and Goulding Lake on Chichagof Island.
Sedum oreganumRareOnly known population is on Baranof Lake. Collected 1963 and photographed in 2011.
Selaginella selaginoides?Seems to be absent from the road system. Has been found at Rezanof Lake growing along the lake shore, and on the ultramafic bluffs at Red Bluff Bay.
Senecio pseudoarnicaUncommonMost easily found near on Kruzof Island, near Brent's Beach cabin, for example. Probably occurs elsewhere in the area, but absent from the road system.
Senecio vulgarisCommonAbundant along sidewalks, roads, and parking lots around town; especially favoring margins of graveled areas. Found blooming and fruiting until extended periods of below freezing temperatures kill it back. So far seems to be absent away from human impacted areas in town.
Sibbaldia procumbens?Along the road, reported in avalanche chute along Blue Lake Road. Other near town locations include Bear Mountain and Starrigavan Ridge. In the area, probably widespread but uncommon and easily overlooked.
Silene acaulisUncommonScattered along river gravel bars and alpine slopes, this species is widespread but nowhere common. Near town it has been found on north slope of Mount Verstovia, upper elevations of Bear Mountain, and along Blue Lake Creek.
Solidago multiradiataUncommonWidespread, but never seems to be abundant. Found from sea level (in beach meadow at Sealion Cove) to 4000 feet (on Bear Mountain). Also found on gravel bars along Blue Lake Creek and on the ultramafic bluffs at Red Bluff Bay.
Spiranthes romanzoffianaAlong the road system, reported from muskegs along Beaver Lake Trail. Seems to be absent from Indian River Valley muskegs. Fairly common along Mount Edgecumbe Trail on Kruzof Island.
Stellaria humifusa?A 1950s collection by Luella G. Smith from Indian River Mouth is the only report. It is probably at least Uncommon in the area.
Stellaria longipes?Recorded from Blue Lake watersheds. Few records suggest it's either largely overlooked or relatively rare.
Struthiopteris spicantCommonCommon throughout much of the area. Easy to find along many of the local forest trails.
Symphyotrichum subspicatum?Found along river gravel bars, upper lake shore margins, and meadows from low elevation to subalpine. Overall abundance/frequency is unclear. Most easily observed along Blue Lake Road, but also reported from Lake Elfendahl, Goulding Lake, Rezanof Lake, Blue Lake Creek, and Beaver Lake. Appears to be present in several flower beds around town.
Thelypteris quelpaertensisUncommonWidespread but not typically abundant in any location. Found from forested valley bottoms to subalpine meadows, but seems to be more common in open meadows, especially near tree line. Most easily observed along Harbor-Gavan Trail.
Trientalis europaeaCommonCommon in meadows and muskegs from sea level to subalpine.
Trisetum spicatumFairly CommonSeems to be widespread, probably fairly common.
Tsuga heterophyllaCommonAbundant - the dominant tree in most forested areas. Exceptions include montane forests just below treeline and adjacent exposed shorelines subject to windblown salt spray.
Urtica dioicaUncommonUncommon, but can be locally abundant (e.g., locations in upper Blue Lake Valley have extensive patches). Most easily found mixed with other plants in avalanche track brush fields along Blue Lake Road near where the fork to Blue Lake Campground splits off.
Viola glabellaCommonAbundant in appropriate habitat where it can form a ground cover. Easily found in Totem Park among many other locations.