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Research - The Palisades 2004


Sarah Gage from WTU, with the assistance of Pete Del Zotto from MORA, led a two day, one night collecting trip in August to the area around The Palisades Rocks in the northeastern section of Mount Rainier National Park. Collections were made in a diverse array of subalpine and alpine habitats including meadows, talus slopes, pumice flats, lakeshores, and high windswept ridges, all lying in the rainshadow of Mount Rainier. In particular, collections were made around Upper Palisade and Hidden Lakes, The Palisades Rocks, Brown Peak, Dege Peak, and along the trail leading from the Sunrise Road to Upper Palisade Lake. Camp was made at Upper Palisades Lake, reached by a 3 mile hike in, and the group enjoyed dry and mostly sunny weather for the trip topped by a spectacular sunset.

163 collections were made, comprising 316 individual specimens. 108 unique taxa were collected, of which 16 represented new records for the MORA park herbarium. These were identified over the ensuing months at WTU by Sarah Gage and several volunteers. One of the new taxa, the unnamed hybrid Lycopodium alpinum X sitchense, exists well to the south of the known southern limit of the parent L. alpinum. True L. alpinum should be looked for within the park.

Besides Sarah Gage and Pete Del Zotto, participating WTU staff included David Giblin, and participating MORA staff included David, Elizabeth, and Jet.

Volunteers from WTU included Amy Dearborn, Don Knoke, Ben Legler, Jeff Walker, and Peter Zika.

# of Collections  163
# of Specimens  316
# of Taxa  108
View of Mount Rainier from above The Palisades.
Photo: Ben Legler
Pete Del Zotto climbing up north side of The Palisades Rocks.
Photo: Ben Legler
Dry pond in pumice filled basin above The Palisades Rocks.
Photo: Ben Legler
Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii on ridge above The Palisades.
Photo: Ben Legler
Gentiana calycosa near Upper Palisades Lake.
Photo: Ben Legler
Sunrise Lake.
Photo: Ben Legler
Collecting on lake shore near The Palisades.
Photo: Sarah Gage
Processing specimens back at camp, Upper Palisades Lake.
Photo: Sarah Gage
Don Knoke on ridge near Upper Palisades Lake.
Photo: David Giblin
Mt. Rainier from near Hidden Lakes.
Photo: David Giblin
Sunset near Upper Palisades Lake.
Photo: Ben Legler
Sunset near Upper Palisades Lake.
Photo: Ben Legler

New Records for MORA Park Complex: The following taxa were not previously documented from within the park complex with a voucher specimen at the MORA herbarium.

Agrostis capillaris
Bromus sitchensis
Cardamine bellidifolia var. bellidifolia
Carex laeviculmis
Carex scopulorum var. bracteosa
Cryptogramma cascadensis
Eriogonum umbellatum var. majus
Festuca brachyphylla
Hieracium cynoglossoides
Juncus effusus ssp. effusus
Juncus regelii
Lupinus arcticus ssp. subalpinus
Lycopodium alpinum X Lycopodium sitchense
Poa arctica ssp. grayana
Poa wheeleri
Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale