The Columbia Plateau is a vast and relatively flat ecoregion that dominates central and eastern Washington and extends into northern Oregon and the Okanagan Highland in British Columbia. It is the result of millennia of lava flows which produced the nearly two-mile thick layer of basalt that underlays it. The driest part of the northwest, the Columbia Plateau receives as little as eight inches of precipitation annually. Vegetation is predominately sagebrush and bunchgrasses, highlighted most years by immense displays of wildflowers in the spring.
The flowers that grow and bloom in this arid region take advantage of the meager winter rains, bloom early in the spring, and then generally go dormant during the hot, dry summer. Look for them in bloom in April and May.