Alaska Wildflower photos

While Alaska is well known for its long and dark winter, the summer, although short, is an infusion of light. It is under these long summer days that a spectacular diversity of wildflowers bloom along the roadways, forest floor, tundra wetlands, and mountain meadows. Over the years, plants have adapted to endure great winds and cool temperatures in high mountain meadows, often displaying flowers that bloom close to the ground or have special insulating qualities to protect them from the chill. The Alaska wildflower photos here are by no means comprehensive, but they are samples from my photography ventures throughout the state. 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.

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 / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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 / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Alaska Poppies (Papaver alaskanum)

In spite of 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 small petals of this delicate plant remain attached amidst the blustery winds that rip across the alpine tundra!

Alaska wildflower photos: Summer wildflowers, moss campion and Alaska poppies in bloom in Highway Pass in Denali National Park, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

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 common with a number of Alaska wildflowers, there are a few variations to the Shooting star, and it may differ slightly in height based on location and climate.

Alaska wildflower photos: Bright pink blossoms of shooting star, Abercrombie state park, Kodiak Island, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

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. It’s 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 home as garden elements.

Alaska wildflower photos: Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Wild Iris, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Lupine

Alaska wildflower photos: Columbia glacier icebergs, Lupine wildflowers, northern Prince William Sound, southcentral, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Siberian Phlox

Alaska wildflower photos: Siberian phlox blossoms, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Elegant Paintbrush

Alaska wildflower photos: Pink elegant paintbrush blossom, spring, Denali National Park, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Alaska Dwarf Primrose (Douglasia ochotensis)

Alaska wildflower photos: Pink blossoms of Alaska dwarf primrose (Douglasia ochotensis), Puvakrat mountain, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Dwarf Dogwood

Alaska wildflower photos: Dwarf dogwood in summertime bloom in a boreal forest in Fairbanks, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Dwarf dogwood in summertime bloom in a boreal forest in Fairbanks, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Mountain Forget-me-not

Alaska wildflower photos: Mountain forget me not, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Arctic Sandwort

Alaska wildflower photos: Arctic sandwort, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Wild Sweet Pea

Alaska wildflower photos: Large field of wild sweet pea in the heart of the Alaska Range, just south of the town of Delta Junction, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

A large field of wild sweet pea in the heart of the Alaska Range, just south of the town of Delta Junction, Interior, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Calypso Orchid

Alaska wildflower photos: Pink spring Fairy Slipper or Calypso Orchid blossom, Fairbanks, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Alaska Cotton Grass

Alaska wildflower photos: Alaska cotton grass around a tundra pond with the mountain reflection of Denali, North America's tallest mountain. Denali National Park (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Chocolate Lily

Alaska wildflower photos: Chocolate lily wildflower blossom, Katmai National Park, southwest, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Twin Flower

Alaska wildflower photos: Twin flower blossoms grow in the boreal forest, Fairbanks, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Twin flower blossoms grow in the boreal forest, Fairbanks, Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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 / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Chuckchi Primrose

Alaska wildflower photos: Chuckchi primrose blossoms grow on Cut Mountain, the highest summit in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

Mountain Aven

Alaska wildflower photos: 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 / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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 / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

Lapland Rosebay

Alaska wildflower photos: Lapland rosebay on the tundra along the Ivishak river in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Brooks Range, Arctic Alaska. (Patrick J Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com)

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

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dogwood eskimo potato mountain aven indian paintbrush forget me not deglacia sign fireweed lupine lupine