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Outside » Natural World

Central Oregon Wildflower Show

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If you find yourself hiking through Jefferson Park, Fryrear Canyon, up in the beautiful wilds of Broken Top, through the foothills of the Cascades or birding among the sagebrush and juniper, you'll also find yourself knee-deep in the great diversity of Oregon's wildflowers.

If it's your first time to experience this colorful wildflower show (which, because of the abundant spring rains this year is magnificent), you may be bewildered by the spectacular diversity of species, and start asking yourself, "Who is this—or that—beauty?"

If you don't happen to be hiking with Stu Garrett, co-founder of the local chapter of the Native Plant Society, who knows all our wildflowers intimately, then you have a handicap. Not to worry! The upcoming Central Oregon Wildflower Show that's going to happen at Sunriver, Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 22, is the place to find answers.

The Wildflower Show will have so many activities you'll be lucky if you find time to eat lunch and take a nap. There will be PowerPoint or keynote wildflower lectures going on every day in the Sunriver Homeowners Recreation Center (SHARC), featuring such diverse subjects as: "Unique and Rare Plants of the Deschutes National Forest;" "Food and Medicinal Uses of High Desert Plants;" "The Wilderness Act at 50;" "Geobotany of Oregon;" The Oregon Flora Project;" "Native Plant Propagation;" Gardening for Wildlife;" and "Landscaping with Native Plants in Central Oregon."

On top of all that there will be a live wildflower exhibit ongoing in the Pozzi building at the Sunriver Nature Center from 9 am to 5 pm, Friday to Sunday.

The subject of noxious weeds will be highlighted at the Nature Center (and what do about and with them), along with Project Ponderosa—a plan to bring the big pines back to Sunriver. There'll also be lots of kids' activities and exhibits of rare and endangered and medicinal plants, and the Nature Center will also hold a Native Plant Sale Friday through Sunday.

If you're planning on being at the show on Sunday you will have the opportunity to volunteer to help in cleanup of the Nature Center's Botanical Garden. Snacks and drinks will be provided, but bring your own gloves and tools. And, if you have a native plant you'd like to have identified and planted in the Botanical Garden, bring that along as well.

Botanical hikes are scheduled from 10 to 11 am, and again 1 to 2 pm every day; $8 for adults, and $6 for kids. Shuttle buses will operate all day to carry people back-and-forth from the SHARC lectures to the Nature Center programs.

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