Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the the May 24, 2009 Newsletter, issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of Grants Pass, Oregon:
VIOLETS AT THE TIPTOP
At the rocky, windswept, sun-dazed, very peak of Onion Mountain a healthy colony of yellow violets was in full bloom. You can see a pretty tuft of them above.
A close-up looking right down the flower's throat, showing hairs on the side petals (wings) and dark purple nectar guides leading into the throat, is below:
It was such a raw, austere habitat that I thought maybe I'd found a rare and/or endemic species, but it turned out to be the Goosefoot Violet, VIOLA PURPUREA, a species widely distributed through most western US states and British Columbia. However, eight subspecies are recognized and some of those subspecies are found only in a couple of states, though none is listed as threatened or endangered. Apparently it lives in environments so severe that they offer little competition for soil with human industry.