Marshmallow root is great at producing mucilage! I learned that mucilage is a carbohydrate that the body has a hard time breaking down.
Trail: Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainer N’tl Park
Dates: 7/20 to 7/23 (3 days, 2 nights)
Mileage: 20 miles
Day One: Box Canyon Trailhead to Indian Bar (7 miles)
Day Two: Indian Bar to White River Campground (10 miles)
Day Three: White River to Sunrise Visitor Center (3 miles)
This hike was beautiful and I cannot believe that it’s taken me this long to visit Mount Rainer. There’s definitely some elevation gain that was strenuous on this route, but overall so worth it!
Bugs were minimal – I made it thru with only 3 bug bites, which has to be a record! We ran into the most bugs as we were just starting to ascend out of the forest around Box Canyon trail. I did come prepared this trip with 30% DEET bug spray, that I only had to use once along that section of trail.
// Plant List //
Listing everything I remember seeing in bloom, since I didn’t have time to take a photo of everything, sadly. Also, Mt. Rainer has this awesome wildflower guide!
Trailside / Mid-lower elevation
Completely lacking green leaves, this plant grows as a single stem marked with red and white stripes. Each flower has red-brown sepals but no petals, and underneath each flower is a small scale-like leaf. Candystick are mycotrophic, which means instead of using photosynthesis to get energy, they form a complicated three-way relationship with fungus and coniferous fir trees to survive. The candystick draws energy from the fungus associated with its roots. The fungus in turn derives energy from tapping into the roots of fir trees. With no need for the sun, candystick can be found in shady, deep woods.
You can also check reported wildflower statuses at Rainer’s website too – the coolest!