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Montane Ecosystem

Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) photographed by James Ellingboe. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) along Perry Creek photographed by Catherine Hovanic. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

These are the mountain forests of Washington which lie roughly between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. On the Westside of the Cascades they occur between the lowland western forest zone and the subalpine while on the eastside of the Cascades they occur between the ponderosa pine zone and the subalpine. Higher elevation montane forests also occur in the Okanogan Highlands of north central and northeastern Washington and the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington. Temperatures are cooler and native plants experience a shorter growing season. On the Westside of the Cascades Pacific Silver Fir becomes a dominant while eastside montane forests include Subalpine fir, Englemann spruce, and larches. Red and blue huckleberries, vine maple, and devil’s club are common. Trailing twin flower, bunchberries, queen’s cup, and the tiniest of woodland orchids might be found.




Updated: March 5, 2015
Copyright 2000-2017 Washington Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.

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