Popcorn Swale

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

Why You Should Visit
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.

Native grasses grow throughout, and seasonal flooding leads to an explosion of wildflowers in the spring and early summer.

North of Roseburg, in Southwest Oregon

30 acres

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Since receiving the preserve as a gift from the Oerding family in 1992 and 1993, much of the Conservancy’s work has focused on restoring habitat for the rough popcornflower. Scientists and volunteers have removed invasive trees, implemented a long-term teasel control project, and collected and sowed native seeds.

What to See: Plants
Popcorn Swale is home to one of few existing populations of rough popcornflower (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.

Please observe the following guidelines by hiking:

  • 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).

From the South:

  • From I-5 North, take Exit 129 (Winchester/Wilbur), and turn left onto OR-99
  • After 2.6 miles, turn right onto Wilbur Cemetery Road, and cross the railroad tracks
  • After 0.5-mile, the preserve will be on left
  • Please park in pullout on right

From the North:

  • From I-5 South, take Exit 135 toward Wilbur, and turn left at Northbank Road
  • Turn Right onto OR-99, and continue for 3.2 miles
  • Turn Left onto Wilbur Cemetery Road
  • After 0.5-mile, the preserve will be on left
  • Please park in pullout on right

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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