Exploring Herbaceous Plants

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Exploring and Observing Herbaceous Plants

Herbaceous Plants exploration iconAlthough when you hear “herbaceous” you may first think of culinary herbs like rosemary and oregano, we’re actually referring to the often leafy green plants we see all around us. In the Herbaceous Plants Virtual Nature Tour, naturalists Dana Echelberger and Coco Sanchez take us on a fact-filled field trip to introduce us to some of our common local herbaceous plants, including hardy grasses, spectacular flowering plants like trillium and lupine, and even some of the less showy but no less important plants that fill our region from shoreline to mountain top.

The word, “herbaceous” refers to a plant whose stems are green and soft and do not have much wood in them. These plants grow fast and produce flowers and many seeds in a short period of time.


Exploring Herbaceous Plants Virtual Nature Walk with Lead Naturalists Dana Echelberger and Coco Sanchez


Exploring Herbaceous Plants Resource Recommendations from Dana Echelberger and Coco Sanchez:





Exploring Herbaceous Plants Activities from Dana Echelberger and Coco Sanchez:

  • Check out the Olympic Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. Become a member, if you can, and get their newsletter. They host hikes, informative talks and all kinds of other great activities and resources.
  • Sign up for Washington Native Plant Society Olympic Chapter’s eNewsletter and blog in the lower right corner of their website.
  • Visit your sit spot and see how many different kinds of native herbaceous plants you can find. Look closely at the branches, flowers, and/or berries. Do you see any critters on the shrub that might be taking shelter there, eating the leaves and fruits, or pollinating the flowers?
  • Choose a focal species plant to study more deeply. After you have chosen a focal species to study, begin these activities:
    • Identify your species using the resource suggestions listed above.
    • Sketch your plant and label it with its common and scientific names (with correct use of capital letters!), size, and main identifying features. These Sketching Tips and Resources may be helpful.
    • Use the resource suggestions listed above to learn about your species and write down three things about it that you find particularly interesting.
    • Rinse and repeat. Want more to do? Choose another plant and start again!
  • Create a nature journal and record your plant discoveries.
  • Visit some or all of these locations in the Quimper Peninsula area:
    • Coastal beaches, dunes and salt-water marshes:
      • Coastal beaches, dunes and salt-water marshes:
      • Lagoon Beach & Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island
      • North Beach
      • Kala Point (private but you can get a Visitor Permit)
      • Fort Townsend Beach
      • Pt. Wilson
    • Prairie:
      • Kala Point (private but you can get a Visitor Permit)
      • Kah Tai Prairie at the Port Townsend Golf Course
    • Lowland and Old Growth Forest: