Gardentalk – Viewing Southeast Alaska’s summer wildflower bonanza

Deb Rudis
Deb Rudis among the fireweed at Pt. Bridget State Park. (Photo courtesy Deb Rudis)

Wildflowers are in full bloom around Juneau and Southeast Alaska this month. In the latest edition of Gardentalk, wildflower enthusiast Deb Rudis tells us her favorite spots for viewing them.

“I think my very best favorite is the Cowee Meadows, which is accessed through Point Bridget State Park,” Rudis said. “That’s about 38 miles off on the Glacier Highway.”

She also likes the Eagle Beach area and up the Eaglecrest road, where she said she can find some really nice pockets of flowers.

“And then the Brotherhood Bridge meadow, and that’s such an accessible place for anyone,” she said.

For homeowners who may want the same wildflowers in their own yard, Rudis says gathering seeds is best. But it can be hard to get wildflower seeds to germinate.

Rudis said you can gather whole plants for transplantation, but she suggests first considering their original habitat.

“You have to make sure you have appropriate habitat,” she said. “Because you don’t want to put something that requires a wet spot into a dry spot. It just won’t thrive.”

Rudis says new housing developments just off the side of the road — or other wildflower patches that are not on state refuge or state park land — are perfect places to gather whole wildflowers.

“There’s lots of places out around Eagle Beach. There’s lots of places in Cowee Meadows where you could take some plants or (that are) up on the Eaglecrest road,” Rudis said. “I don’t think you could put much of a dent in the population of plants in those places.”

Granite Basin
River beauty/dwarf fireweed in Granite Basin (Photo courtesy Deb Rudis)
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