Monday, November 05, 2012
WHITE GEM of the OLYMPICS
The Albino Piper's Bellflower (Campanula piperi, forma Sovereigniana, forma nova) is the rarest of the rare. Endemic to the Olympic Mountains, only a few dozen plants are known to exist. I just learned that it was discovered in 1940.
Campanula piperi is undoubtedly one of the rarest wildflowers on earth. Only a few people know where to find this most precious flower. I am privileged to be counted among them. Ironically, thousands of people each year unknowingly pass right by it. Mrs. Trowbridge saw it and sketched it, but even she couldn't fully appreciate it's rarity.
This is quite likely the actual rock where Mrs. T encountered the Albino Piper's Bellflower just shy of 200 years ago, for there is only one other known location of the flower. She wrote that she found it on "a distant mountain in the North Forest". I photographed the flowers pictured above near the summit of Lillian Ridge in the North Olympic Mountains. There were less than two dozen bellflowers growing on this boulder. The photos that I have taken of this flower are among the most prized photos in my Olympic Mountain wildflower collection.
Have you seen my other blog, Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy?