Alaska Wildflower photos

Wildflowers along the Richardson Highway, Interior, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres /

The Alaska wildflower photos here are not comprehensive, but they are samples from my photography ventures throughout the state. While Alaska is well known for its long and dark winter, the summer, although short, is an infusion of light. Under these long summer days, a spectacular diversity of wildflowers bloom along the roadways, forest floor, tundra wetlands, and mountain meadows. All of the Alaska wildflower photos on this site can be licensed as stock photography or purchased as fine art prints for your home or office.

Alpine forget-me-not, Alaska’s state flower, Denali National Park, Alaska (Patrick J Endres /

Wildflower Adaptations

Over the years, plants have adapted to endure great winds and cool temperatures in high mountain meadows. They often display flowers that bloom close to the ground or have unique insulating qualities to protect them from the chill.

Wooly lousewort wildflowers on the tundra in the continental divide of the Brooks Range, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

Alaska Wildflower Books by Verna Pratt

Alaska Wildflower books

Alaska Wildflower Books by Verna and Frank Pratt

Verna Pratt’s books on wildflowers have been the bible of Alaska wildflowers for decades. Her descriptions, photos, and easy-to-use categorization make flowers easy to identify when you are out in the field on a hike or traveling the byways of Alaska. This link will take you to Greatland Graphics, where you can purchase these great field resources.

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)

Of the many Alaska wildflowers, the most well know is the fireweed, which reaches peak bloom by late July and early August (depending on geography). Many roadside corridors are enflamed in pink with this abundant wildflower. Fireweed honey is a delicately flavored honey gathered by some honey bees whose hives are situated near large fields of fireweed. The many blossomed plant blooms first at the bottom, and an old Alaskan saying claims that by the time the fireweed blossoms at the very top, the first snowfall is only six weeks away. Alaska’s short but aggressive growing season yields fields of wildflower color in the summer months.

Midnight sunset over dwarf fireweed, or river beauty, along the Marsh Fork of the Canning River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Brooks Range mountains, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

Alaska Poppies (Papaver alaskanum)

Despite chilly and windy conditions in the mountains, blankets of color fill valleys and cover meadows, like this yellow field of Alaska poppies at nearly 4000 feet elevation in Highway Pass, along the Denali National Park Road. It is a wonder that the tiny petals of this delicate plant remain attached amidst the blustery winds that rip across the alpine tundra!

Summer wildflowers, moss champion, and Alaska poppies in bloom in Highway Pass in Denali National Park, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Frigid Shooting Star (Dodecatheon frigidum)

The Frigid Shooting Star is most abundant in wet tundra meadows and alpine slopes from June to mid-July. It gets its name from its unique shape and blooms to about 10″ high with magenta flowers with a white ring. As is typical with several Alaska wildflowers, there are a few variations to the Shooting star, which may differ slightly in height based on location and climate.

Bright pink blossoms of the frigid shooting star, Abercrombie state park, Kodiak Island, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Wild Iris

Alaska’s Wild Iris can be found in the Interior and the southern parts of the state in June; one of the summer’s earliest blooming flowers. It often grows in clusters and sometimes even in large fields filled with the drooping purple blossom. It prefers wet environments and is commonly viewed along roadside ditches and marshy areas that hold moisture well. Its delicate petals range from light to deep, rich purple, and photographers are often observed crouched in the roadside flower patches, lost in the splendor and design of this elegant plant. It is also used as a decorative plant for landscaping, and some locals have been known to harvest bulbs from the roadside patches to transplant around their homes as garden elements.

Wild Iris, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /


Columbia glacier icebergs, Lupine wildflowers, northern Prince William Sound, southcentral Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Siberian Phlox

Siberian phlox blossoms, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres /

Elegant Paintbrush

Pink elegant paintbrush blossom, spring, Denali National Park, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres /

Alaska Dwarf Primrose (Douglasia ochotensis)

Pink blossoms of Alaska dwarf primrose, Puvakrat mountain, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Dwarf Dogwood

Dwarf dogwood in summertime blooms in a boreal forest in Fairbanks, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Mountain Forget-me-not

Mountain forget me not, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres /

Arctic Sandwort

Arctic sandwort, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Wild Sweet Pea

A large field of wild sweet peas is in the heart of the Alaska Range, just south of Delta Junction, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Calypso Orchid

Pink spring Fairy Slipper or Calypso Orchid blossom, Fairbanks, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

Alaska Cotton Grass

Alaska cotton grass around a tundra pond with the mountain reflection of Denali, North America’s tallest mountain. Denali National Park (Patrick J Endres /

Chocolate Lily

Chocolate lily wildflower blossom, Katmai National Park, southwest Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres /

Twin Flower

Twinflower blossoms grow in the boreal forest of Fairbanks, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

Parry’s Wallflower

Parry’s wallflower on the tundra in the continental divide of the Brooks Range, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

Chuckchi Primrose

Chuckchi primrose blossoms grow on Cut Mountain, the highest summit in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. (Patrick J Endres /

Mountain Aven

Mountain aven flowers bloom on the tundra in the slopes of the Aquarius Valley in the Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska (Patrick J Endres /

Lapland Rosebay

Lapland rosebay on the tundra along the Ivishak river in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Brooks Range, Arctic Alaska. (Patrick J Endres /

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