Places We Protect

Popcorn Swale

Oregon

Small white flowers with rounded petals surrounded by green foliage.
Rough popcornflower Named after the rare and endangered rough popcornflower that thrives here, this preserve is one of the Umpqua Valley’s best remaining examples of wet prairie. © U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One of the Umpqua Valley's best examples of wet prairie is a haven for endangered wildflowers.

Overview

Description

Spring 2021 Update:

Effective April 1, 2021, this preserve is open to the public. Please observe social distancing guidelines, follow all posted site usage/visitation guidance, and wear a mask whenever encountering other guests. This property is privately-owned and managed in order to protect the sensitive species that call it home. We appreciate your help in protecting the landscape and respecting all those who enjoy it.

 

Why You Should Visit

Named after the rare and endangered rough popcorn flower that thrives here, this preserve is one of the Umpqua Valley’s best remaining examples of wet prairie. Native grasses grow throughout, and seasonal flooding leads to an explosion of wildflowers in the spring and early summer.

 

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

Since receiving the preserve as a gift from the Oerding family in 1992 and 1993, much of TNC's work has focused on restoring habitat for the rough popcorn flower. Scientists and volunteers have removed invasive trees, implemented a long-term teasel control project, and collected and sowed native seeds.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Preserve is not signed and there are no official trails. No dogs.

Highlights

Wildflowers, birding, wet prairie

Size

30 acres

Explore our work in Oregon

Please observe the following visitation guidelines:

  • Do not collect plants, insects or other species or disturb soil, rocks, artifacts or scientific research markers.
  • No dogs. Preserves harbor ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are extremely sensitive to disturbance.
  • No bicycles or motorized vehicles. Native plants and research sites are easily trampled.
  • No hunting, camping or campfires.
  • For groups of 10 or more, please contact us before visiting (a volunteer naturalist guide may be available).
  • Please bring a bag and carry out any trash you find.
  • Please report to us any problems you observe (e.g., camping, plant removal, hunting, off-road vehicle damage, etc).
 

What to See: Plants

Popcorn Swale is home to one of few existing populations of rough popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys hirtus), an endangered plant that only grows in the Umpqua Valley. Other notable species include great white camas, Douglas’ meadowfoam and Cusick’s checkermallow. The rare plant red-root yampah can also be found here, as well as several native grasses including tufted hairgrass, one-sided sedge and meadow barley.

What to See: Animals

Columbian white-tailed deer thrive here, and elk move through the area. Other large mammals sometimes spotted are bear and cougar.

Plan Your Visit

The best time to visit is in the spring, when the flowers are in bloom. But the preserve is not signed and there is no official trail.

Stand Up for Nature in Oregon

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends, and for nearly 60 years, we've been working in Oregon to do just that. We're bringing people together to solve the biggest conservation challenges of our time by transforming policy, inspiring communities to take action, protecting vital habitats and natural resources and improving livelihoods.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map