Montana Outdoors

May 21, 2007

May wild flowers, part 6

Filed under: Environment, Flowers, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 4:59 pm

Not everyone agrees on exactly what one should call a “flower”. After looking all over to identify this yellow one, I found it is classified as a weed; Leafy Spurge, Euphorbia esula, and a noxious one at that. It has interesting blossoms,

Leafy Spurge (euphorbia esula)

and a stand of it certainly provides a splash of color on the landscape as seen in this photo along a river bank,

Leafy Spurge (euphorbia esula)

but it has become a serious and expensive problem in the Western states, particularly the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana where it costs an estimated $144 million a year in production losses and control expenses.

Growing right next to the area of spurge, probably because the soil was dry, sandy and rocky, were these little Fernleaf Fleabanes, erigeron compositus, members of the sunflower family. Their flowers are about an inch across and are a common sight in Western Montana through their long blooming season from May through August. Besides the white flowers seen here, they also come in pink, blue or lavender.

Fernleaf Fleabanes (erigeron compositus)

Yarrow, achillea mille folium, at a distance looks like an uninteresting plant 1 to 4 ft tall with a flat topped patch of white flowers and a pungent odor, but I found that if one looks at it closely, its tiny, delicate flowers are really quite pretty. In nature, as in life, sometimes there is beauty where you don’t expect it.

Yarrow (achillea mille folium)

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