Alaska has an abundance of native flowers, the majority of which are perennials that appear in the relatively short growing season between the last spring frost during the month of May until the first fall frost during the month of September. Conditions and growing patterns vary widely according to elevation and other factors. Below is a brief introduction to some of the more popular native Alaskan flowers.
The Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica) is the Alaskan state flower. It features branched clusters of tiny blue, lavender, and white five-petal flowers on stems above medium green foliage. The plant is typically no larger than one foot high and one foot wide. It is an excellent garden flower and should be planted in partial shade as it is not very tolerant to direct sun. It blooms throughout the growing season. Its cut flowers are commonly used in arrangements.
The Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) is native to Alaska and is found as far south as California. It has large showy blooms that appear singly, or in twos and threes. Typically they have a deep pink color. The Nootka Rose is a large, gangly shrub reaching to 15 feet in height and over 10 feet in width. It is found mostly in open sites exposes to full sun and is commonly used riparian stabilization due to its dense root system.
The Alaska Spiraea (Spiraea stevenii) is common to riparian habitats across Alaska, typically forming dense thickets along creeks and rivers. It is an upright growing shrub that reaches two meters in height. This Spiraea produces dense clusters of tiny white-pink flowers on spires above the broad medium to dark green foliage. The plant is suited to growing in moist, sunny gardens as a specimen plant or in back borders.
There are many other native Alaskan flowers, including Sitka Burnet, Bog-Star, Cloudberry, Elderberry, Alaska Starwort, Red-Stemmed Saxifrage, Pacific Buttercup, Watermellow Berry, and Alaska Poppy.