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Northwest Mountain Wildflowers is a field guide adapted by Daniel Mathews from his book, Cascade-Olympic Natural History, originally published with the Audubon Society of Portland. The app also incorporates the flowers from Mathews' Rocky Mountain Natural History. In all, it covers a region stretching from Vancouver Island to Wyoming's Wind River Range, and from the northern Oregon Coast Range to Jasper National Park. It identifies 550 species and illustrates them with 926 full-screen photos—far more than were in the books.

The flowers aren't just identified: you'll find pages and pages of fascinating natural history, biographies of the naturalist-explorers the plants are named after, help with pronouncing and understanding the scientific names, and more. Here's some of what others have said about the two books:

"Not only informative, but literate and shrewd."
—Gary Snyder

"In the high country in summer it becomes a near-bible, opening a world that grows more mysterious and beautiful even as its grandeur is defined and its intricacies known."
—David James Duncan

"As a park ranger I find myself reaching for it daily to answer questions. The writing is superb and one finds oneself reading it by a fire on a cold winter day just because."
—Geordie Romer, back-country ranger, North Cascades N.P.

This app uses Earthrover Software's field guide interface, which is far easier to use than other iPhone field guides.
You can choose among several paths to your plant: just check off your location and then scroll through thumbnail photos by color; use flower structure and leaf features for a precise search; browse in the index, viewing your choice of common names, scientific names, or both mixed together; look for them by plant family; or enter keywords and let the app search for those. Search results are viewable both as a list of names and a screen of thumbnail photos.

The app resides in memory. Hey, when you’re off in the mountains you don’t want to be dependent on a signal, do you? But when you’re back on a network, you’ll find direct links from the species pages to online resources.

For many nature buffs, this guide covers a big enough range to encompass 95% of their wanderings, not just their top five day hikes. Yet the range is small enough for the guide to speak with a Northwest voice, from enough regional experience and familiarity to get the geographic details right. The Northwest is an ecological continuum; a majority of the 500 species grow in at least 6 of the 7 states and provinces.

The region’s woody plants are covered in our companion app, Northwest and Rocky Mountain Trees and Shrubs.

What's New

Version 1.2

Adds 36 species and 76 photos; minor content updates.

Ratings and Reviews

3.3 out of 5

7 Ratings

7 Ratings

you won't be disappointed

Dr. Downhill

I've used this app for a year and a half, and it's great. So I felt prodded to review it when I saw the "Disappointing!" review. I had to figure out how SeeDeeWho could have had a bad experience. Turns out, that bad review is based entirely on one species account (out of 550) that is in fact totally messed up: look up Marah oreganus and you get 3 photos—flowers, leaves, fruits, all exactly as SeedeeWho would have wanted—but you get the text of an unrelated species, Canadanthus modestus. That's quite a goof, but it's just one species out of 550 and I've been using this app a year and a half, as I said. And I love it, so I'm still gonna give it five stars.
I cant fathom the rest of SeedeeWho's complaints. There is absolutely not too much emphasis on just blossoms here. The descriptions and the search criteria focus on leaves a lot, and there are lots of photos devoted just to leaves or to fruits and seed heads.
What makes the app really outstanding are two things:
first, the user interface is intuitive, clean, and straightforward and has no bugs.
Second, there's lots of natural history information and it's so well written, I often find myself stuck in the app longer than expected just because I follow internal links and everything is really interesting.
The photos are gorgeous, too. More than 900 of them.

Loving it!


Tons of interesting info, big beautiful pictures, and a really well-thought-out interface and search methods. I agree with all the reviewers of previous versions: its the best wildflower app. I couldn't see why "Disappointing" had such a problem, so eventually I looked up Marah oreganus, and sure enough it loads the wrong species description entirely, with a different Latin name. Ouch. But I haven't seen any other booboos or bugs at all. Maybe that reviewer will post a different opinion after seeing how great all the other 500+ species are.


CD Wyte

This app should be called the "Wildflower Blossom App" because it has pictures and detailed descriptions almost entirely about the blossoms, alone. Using Marah oreganus as an example: the text does not mention that it is a vine that often grows twenty feet up nearby trees, that it has tendrils, that its leaves can be 6" or wider, or that it has a large fruit that looks like a globular cucumber with spines. It says, instead, that it grows to 40 inches and compares it to "similar...Daisy-like flowers." You could never use this app to identify this fairly common wild vine.


Patrick Leger
273.1 MB
Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2011 Earthrover Software


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