John I have accepted your additions and corrections. Many thanks

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John – I have accepted your additions and corrections. Many thanks.
Someone had written marsh ragwort on the list but with no scientific names, so the names I listed were conjecture. I am erring on the side of caution and deleting it from the list.
I have seen Androsace but only in the Jasper area. A wonderful find.

I think I saw (non-flowering) Parnassia on the Wall Lake trail but it’s not in my notes.

I am going with Zigadenus elegans for the death-camas sighting (and adjusting it to agree with Peter Achuff’s spelling).
Would Crypt Lake be better described as montane or subalpine?

Hi Bill,

What a wonderful job you have done at organizing and making sense of the new nomenclature. I found Peter Achuff’s list pretty mysterious, and certainly really hard to find one’s way around. Yours is a big help. It does seem that the “splitters” have had the upper hand in the nomenclature; I wonder whether this will last. Meanwhile all ones books have the wrong names. Thank you also for the massive effort of putting all this together.

I return your list, where I have added a few plants. Most are pretty ordinary, and none that are not on Peter A’s list. These, and some comments, are given in “track changes”. It is hard to know when to stop when it comes to “weeds”. I don’t think for example that it is worthwhile to add, say, Thlaspi. But I have tentatively added a couple of Medicago.

One plant which I will probably have been the only one to record is Androsace chamaejasme (alpine rock jasmine). This was in a rockslide on the Carthew-Alderson Traverse, well east of the Carthew summit, perhaps >1500 feet lower. We were the only party to do the traverse, since we went over on the Friday of the second week, and this was the first day that it was open (at least officially). I am pretty happy with the identification. Incidentally the east side of the Pass was interesting in being clearly much colder than the west side, with alpine plants such as Dryas octopetalla persisting down to some 2000’below the pass. This reminds me of the valley of Butler Lake, in the Niut camp, where high alpine plants persisted down to the camp level.

Another plant which it would be a pity not to have included is Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover), that extraordinary (to me) flower in the prairie behind the camp.

Perhaps one should add Crypt Lake to the list of montane areas?

Sorry to take so long.

You have done a terrific job.


John Coope

Plants seen at Nature Vancouver Waterton Lakes camp July-August 2011

updated 20130204

A note on taxonomy: a number of changes have recently been made in classification of North American vascular plants. Several families and genera have been changed from those which we are accustomed to, and this list reflects these changes. The classification is based on a list sent to members of the Camp Committee in early 2011 by Peter Achuff, retired Interpreter for Waterton Lakes National Park.
In particular, note the division of the Lily Family (Liliaceae) and the Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae) into different families, and the genera Aster and Senecio into additional genera. For more information and a spreadsheet with a comprehensive list including the changes, contact the author of this article.

Plants are grouped under Monocots, Dicots and Others, and ordered alphabetically within those divisions by family name and then genus name. The general location of where plants were found is coded as follows:

P: Prairie areas. Includes Waterton Springs Campground and NCC property, Bison Paddock and Bellevue Prairie, and roadside sightings on highway and backroads

M: Montane areas. Includes Bear's Hump, Waterton Lakes shoreline, lower part of Crypt Lake, Bertha Lake, Wall Lake, Forum Lake, Rowe Lakes, and Lineham Falls trail, and roads in park.

S: Subalpine areas. Includes upper part of Wall Lake, Forum Lake, Rowe Lakes, Lineham Falls, Bertha Lake trails, and Carthew-Alderson trail as far as Summit Lake.

A: Alpine areas. Chiefly Carthew Summit.

X - location not specified
Plants of special note are in bold.


CYPERACEAE (sedge family)

Carex obtusata blunt sedge                           P

Carex phaeocephala head-like sedge                    S

IRIDACEAE (iris family)
Sisyrinchium montanum       common blue-eyed grass  P
JUNCACEAE (rush family)
Luzula parviflora                small-flowered woodrush         S
Luzula piperi                 Piper's woodrush           S      
Juncus sp                                                 S
LILIACEAE (lily family)
Calochortus apiculatis white mariposa lily        S,M      
Clintonia uniflora              queen's-cup             S    
Erythronium grandiflorum         glacier lily            S     
Lilium philadelphicum            western wood lily         P,M

Maianthemum (Smilacina) racemosum false Solomon's-seal       S

Maianthemum stellatum          star-flowered Solomon's-seal    S
Streptopus amplexifolius           clasping twisted-stalk          S,M
ALLIACEAE (onion family) ex Liliaceae
Allium cernuum                     nodding onion        S,M,P   
COCHICACEAE (crocus family) ex Liliaceae
Prosartes (Disporum) hookeri (syn. P. oreganum)    Hooker's fairybells   S,P
Prosartes trachycarpum               rough-fruited fairybells M      
MELIANTHIACEAE (false hellebore family) ex Liliaceae
Stenanthium occidentale              bronze bells            S
Veratrum viride                 false hellebore            M,S
Xerophyllum tenax               beargrass               S
Zigadenus elegans             white death-camas           P
TOFIELDIACEAE (false-asphodel family) ex Liliaceae 
Triantha (Tofieldia) glutinosa         sticky false-asphodel        S
ORCHIDACEAE (orchid family)
Calypso bulbosa                   fairyslipper            S
Corallorhiza maculata            spotted coralroot          S

Cyprepedium montanum mountain lady’s-slipper M

Goodyera oblongifolia             rattlesnake-plantain       S
Listera cordata                 heart-leaved twayblade          S
Listera convallarioides              broad-leaved twayblade          P
Piperia (Platanthera) stricta (syn. P. unalaschensis)    slender rein-orchid       P,S (wetlands)
POACEAE (grass family)
Anthoxanthium (Hierochloe) hirtum       common sweetgrass     S
Calamagrostis canadensis             marsh reedgrass              S
Danthonia intermedia              timber oatgrass            S
Festuca sp                                                                                         P

Leymus (Elymus) glaucus             blue wildrye            P

Leymus sp                                      S
Phleum alpinum                  alpine timothy             S
Phleum pratense common timothy      P
APIACEAE (carrot family)
Angelica arguta                 sharp-toothed angelica          M
Angelica dawsonii               Dawson's angelica          P,S

[endemic to the Park]
Heracleum maximum (syn. H. lanatum)     woolly cow-parsnip         P,M,S
Lomatium dissectum                fern-leaved desert-parsley      P,M,S
Lomatium triternatum              nine-leaved desert-parsley      P
Osmorhiza berteroi (syn. O. chilensis)  mountain sweet-cicely        M,S
APOCYNACEAE (dogbane family)
Apocynum androsaemifolium     spreading dogbane          P,M
ASTERACEAE  (composite family)
Achillea millefolium            yarrow                  P,M,S
Adenocaulon bicolor             pathfinder                                    X
Agoseris glauca                 short-beaked agoseris        P
Agoseris aurantica orange agoseris X

Anaphalis margaritacaea              pearly everlasting         P

Antennaria sp                various species not identified P, S,A  

Arnica cordifolia               heart-leaved arnica        S

Arnica latifolia mountain (broad-leaved) arnica X

Artemisia frigida (syn. A. norvegica) mountain sagewort       P,S

Balsamorhiza sagittata               arrow-leaved balsamroot         M
Brickellia grandiflora             brittlebush             M

Cirsium hookerianum               Hooker's thistle           P

Crepis nana                  dwarf hawksbeard           A
Erigeron caespitosus              tufted fleabane            M
Erigeron compositus             cut-leaved fleabane        P
Erigeron peregrinus             subalpine fleabane         S
Gaillardia aristata             brown-eyed-Susan           P
Helianthus pauciflorus               rhombic sunflower          P
Heterotheca (Chrysopsis) villosa        golden aster            P
Hieracium albiflorum            white hawkweed             S
Leucanthemum vulgare       oxeye daisy             M
Liatris punctata                dotted gayfeather          P
Packera (Senecio) cana               prairie ragwort            P

Senecio triangularis            arrow-leaved groundsel          P,S

Solidago simplex (syn. S. spathulata)      mountain goldenrod           P,S
Symphyotrichium (Aster) sp                             S
Townsendia parryi      Parry’s townsendia         P

[in the prairie behind the camp]

Tragopogon dubius               yellow salsify             P

BORAGINACEAE (borage family)
Cynoglossum officinale               common hound's-tongue            P

[at the very start of the Bertha Lake trai]
Hackelia floribunda              many-flowered stickseed         S
Lithospermum ruderale             puccoon                 P
Myosotis asiatica (syn. M. alpestris )     mountain forget-me-not          A
Phacelia hastata                 silverleaf phacelia        A
Phacelia sericea                 silky phacelia             S
BRASSICACEAE (mustard family)
Boechera (Arabis) lyallii           Lyall's rockcress          S
Draba aurea                   golden draba            S
Draba lonchocarpa                lance-fruited draba        A

Smelowskia calycina var. americana    alpine smelowskia A

[on trail just below Carthew Summit]
CAMPANULACEAE (harebell family)
Campanula rotundifolia               common harebell              P,M,S

CAPRIFOLIACEAE (honeysuckle family)

Lonicera involucrata            bracted honeysuckle          M,S
Lonicera utahensis              Utah honeysuckle           M,S
Symphoricarpos alba               snowberry               P,M
ADOXACEAE (muskroot family) ex Caprifoliceae
Sambucus racemosa                 red elderberry             S
LINNAEACEAE (twinflower family) ex Caprifoliceae
Linnaea borealis                 twinflower              X
Cerastium arvense               field chickweed            M,S
Minuartia sp                                     P,S

Moehringia (Arenaria) lateriflora blunt-leaved sandwort           A

Silene sp                                     P
Silene acaulis                  moss campion       A
CORNACEAE (dogwood family)
Cornus canadensis               dwarf dogwood      M
Cornus stolonifera              red-osier dogwood          M
CRASSULACEAE (stonecrop family)
Sedum lanceolatum                 lance-leaved stonecrop          S,A
Rhodiola (Tolmachevia) integrifolia (syn. Sedum roseum)         roseroot   A
CUPRESSACEAE (cedar family)
Juniperus horizontalis               spreading juniper          P,M
ELAEAGNACEAE (oleaster family)
Eleagnus commutata                silverberry             M
Shepherdia canadensis             soapberry               M
ERICACEAE (heath family)
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi              bearberry               P,M
Chimaphila umbellata              pipsissewa              M
Kalmia microphylla (syn. K. polifolia)    small bog-laurel           S
Menziesia ferruginea            false huckleberry          S
Orthilia secunda                one-sided wintergreen        M,S
Pterospora andromedea      pinedrops               M
Pyrola asarifolia               pink-flowered wintergreen       M

Pyrola chlorantha               green-flowered wintergreen      M

Rhododendron albiflorum              white rhododendron         S
Rhododendron (Ledum) groenlandicum Labrador tea S  
Vaccinium caespitosum      dwarf huckleberry          S
Vaccinium scoparium               grouseberry             S
FABACEAE (pea family)
Astragalus sp                                    P,M
Dalea purpurea purple prairie clover P

[in the 1 sq. km prairie behind the camp]

Hedysarum boreale (syn. H. mackenziei) northern sweet-vetch P

Hedysarum sulphurescens         yellow hedysarum           P
Hedysarum sp                                                                                               M
Lupinus sericeus or argenteus         lupine P,M

Medicago lupulina black medic P

Medicago sativa alfalfa P

Melilotus alba                  white sweet-clover         P

Melilotus officinalis           yellow sweet-clover        P
Oxytropis splendens             showy locoweed             P,M
Trifolium sp                                     M
Vicia americana                 American vetch             P

GENTIANACEAE (gentian family)

Gentiana calycosa               bog gentian (no flowers) S
Gentianella amarella            northern gentian                        X
GERANIACEAE (geranium family)
Geranium viscossimum           sticky geranium         P,M
LAMIACEAE (mint family)
Monarda fistulosa               wild bergamot      P,M
Prunella vulgaris               selfheal                P
Stachys pilosa (syn. S. palustris) swamp hedge-nettle         P
LINACEAE (flax family)
Linum lewisii wild blue flax        P,M
MALVACEAE (mallow family)
Iliamna rivularis               mountain hollyhock                 M   
ONOGRACEAE (evening primrose family)
Chamerion (Epilobium) angustifolium     common fireweed          P,M
Chamerion latifolium               river beauty            X
Oenothera biennis (syn. O. villosa)        yellow evening-primrose         P
PINACEAE (pine family)
Abies lasiocarpa                subalpine fir  
Larix lyallii subalpine larch S

[not sure of the location, but probably at Rowe Lakes]

Picea engelmannii                Engelmann spruce

Pinus contorta var. latifolia        lodgepole pine
Pinus albicaulis                 whitebark pine
Pseudotsuga menziesii             Douglas-fir
POLEMONIACEAE (phlox family)
Polemonium pulcherrimum         showy Jacob's-ladder         S
Polemonium viscosum        sky pilot               A

[below Carthew Summit]
POLYGONACEAE (buckwheat family)
Eriogonum ovalifolium             oval-leaved buckwheat        P
Eriogonum umbellatum       sulphur buckwheat          P,M
Oxyria digina mountain sorrel A

Rumex occidentalis              western dock            P

PORTULACACEAE (purslane family)
Claytonia lanceolata            western spring-beauty        S
PRIMULACEAE (primrose family)
Androsace chamaejasme alpine rock jasmine M

[on a rockslide on the Carthew Lakes Traverse, east of Carthew Summit, perhaps 500m below it.]

Dodecatheon pulchellum               few-flowered shooting-star  M
RANUNCULACEAE (buttercup family)
Actaea rubra                  baneberry             P,M,S
Anemone drummondii          Drummond's anemone    P,M
Anemone multifida                cut-leaved anemone         M
Anemone occidentalis              western anemone              S
Anemone parviflora               few-flowered anemone  S
Aquilegia flavescens             yellow columbine           S
Clematis ligustifolia            blue clematis           S
Delphinium bicolor               low larkspur            S
Ranunculus acris                 tall buttercup             P
Ranunculus aquatilis white water-crowfoot   P
Ranunculus eshcholtzii               mountain buttercup         S

Thalictrum occidentale               western meadow-rue         P,S

Thalictrum venulosum              veiny meadow-rue           M
Trollius albiflorus             globeflower             S
ROSACEAE (rose family)
Amelanchier alnifolia           saskatoon               P,M
Dasiphora (Pentaphylloides, Potentilla) fruticosa            shrubby cinquefoil P,M,S
Dryas octopetala                white mountain-avens         A
Fragaria virginiana             wild strawberry            M
Geum triflorum                  old man's whiskers         P,M
Potentilla anserina             silverweed                 P
Potentilla arguta               whole cinquefoil           P
Potentilla diversifolia            diverse cinquefoil         P
Potentilla gracilis             graceful cinquefoil                     X
Potentilla villosa              hairy cinquefoil                           X
Prunus virginiana                choke cherry             M
Rosa acicularis                  prickly rose             P,M
Rosa woodsii                  Woods rose               M
Rubus parviflorus                thimbleberry             M,S
Sorbus sp. Mountain ash X

Spirea betulifolia               birch-leaved spirea         M

Spirea splendens (syn. S. densiflora) mountain spirea        S
RUBIACEAE (madder family)
Gallium boreale                  northern bedstraw           P,M
SALICACEAE (willow family)
Populus trichocarpa (syn. P. balsamifera)       black cottonwood
Populus tremuloides              trembling aspen
Salix sp                                                                      
SANTALACEAE (sandalwood family)
Arceuthobium americanum         American dwarf mistletoe        S

[on Abies lasiocarpa, near First Rowe Lake]

Comandra umbellata pale comandra X

SAXIFRAGACEAE (saxifrage family)
Heuchera cylindrica             round-leaved alumroot        S
Leptarrhena pyrolifolia              leather-leaved saxifrage      M,S
Micranthes (saxifrage) ferruginea rusty saxifrage X (but probably S)

Mitella nuda                 bare mitrewort             S

Mitella pentandra               five-stamened mitrewort         S
Mitella sp.                  mitrewort               S
Saxifraga bronchialis             spotted saxifrage          S
Saxifraga cernuua               nodding saxifrage          S
Tiarella trifora var. uniflora          foamflower               M,S
GROSSULARIACEAE (currant family)  ex Saxifragaceae
Ribes lacustre                  black gooseberry           S
Ribes oxyacanthoides              northern gooseberry        S
PARNASSACEAE (Parnassus grass family) ex Saxifragaceae

Parnassia fimbriata fringed grass-of-Parnassus M

[at the waterfall half way up the Bertha Lk trail]
OROBANCHACEAE (broomrape family) ex Scrophularaceae, in part
Castilleja lutescens             yellow paintbrush          P,M
Castilleja miniata               red paintbrush             P,M
Orobanche uniflora              one-flowered broomrape          M
Orthocarpus luteus              yellow owl-clover          P
Pedicularis bracteosa             bracted lousewort          S
Pedicularis contorta            contorted lousewort        X
PHRYMACEAE (lopseed family) ex Scrophularaceae
Mimulus guttatus                yellow monkeyflower        P

Mimulus lewisii                 pink monkeyflower          S

PLANTAGINACEAE (plantain family) ex Scrophularaceae, in part
Collinsia parviflora small blue-eyed mary X

Digitalis purpurea common foxglove P

Linaria angustifoloia Dalmatian toadflax X

Penstemon confertus               yellow penstemon           P,M

Penstemon ellipticus              elliptical-leaved penstemon     S
Penstemon nitidus               smooth blue penstemon S
Plantago major                  common plantain              P
Veronica wormskjoldii (syn. V. alpina)      alpine speedwell           A
Veronica beccabunga (syn. V. americana)  American brooklime        S

SOLANACEAE (nightshade family)

Hyoscyamus niger                black henbane           P
URTICACEAE (nettle family)
Urtica dioica                  stinging nettle            P,M
VALERINACEAE  (valerian family)
Valeriana sitchensis             Sitka valerian             S
VIOLACEAE (violet family)
Viola adunca                  early blue violet          M
Viola canadensis                 Canada violet           M
Viola glabella                   yellow stream violet       S
Viola nuttallii                  Nuttall's violet           A

[on scree slopes below Carthew Summit]
Viola orbiculata                 round-leaved violet        S
Viola nephrophylla               kidney-leaved violet       S

WS = Waterton Springs

FL = Forum Lake
SL = Summit Lake

X = unspecified location


DRYOPTERIDACEAE (woodfern family)  ex Polypodiaceae
Gymnocarpum (Dryopteris) disjunctum    western oak fern      X
Gymnocarpum dryopteris          common oak fern       SL
Woodsia scopulina  cliff woodsia X
DENNSTAEDTIACEAE (bracken family)  ex Polypodiaceae
Pteridium aquilinium                  bracken fern  SL
EQUISETACEAE (horsetail family): Equisetum sp - WS
LYCOPODIACEAE (clubmoss family): Lycopodium annotinum - northern fir clubmoss  - SL
Dichodontium pellucidum         wet rock-moss FL

Philonotis? fontana                                             SL

Campylium stellatum               golden star-moss      SL
Myurella julacea                      small mouse-tail moss  FL
Plagiomnium medium                          SL

Sanionia uncinata                                                         SL

Porella cardaena X

LEAF LICHENS: Nephroma resupinatum - blistered paw lichen and Peltigera aphthosa - freckle pelt SL
HAIR LICHENS: Bryoria fuscescens - speckled horsehair  FL SL
CLUB LICHENS: Cladonia sulphurina - sulphur pixie-cup FL and Cladonia sp - SL
HAIR LICHENS: Alectoria sarmentosa - common witch's hair     SL
SHRUB LICHENS: Letharia vulpina - common wolf lichen FL SL



Linda Kershaw et al. Plants of the Rocky Mountains. Edmonton: Lone Pine, 1998.
R.G.H. Cormack. Wildflowers of Alberta. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1977.

Email correspondence from Peter Achuff, June 2011. 


Recorders: Bill Kinkaid, John Coope, Eva Nagy, Janet O'Connor, Lee Wright, Elena Klein, Sylvia Mather, Don Griffiths, Nan Gregory, Daryl Sturdy, Elsie Foreman, Joyce Lee

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