Montana Outdoors

May 28, 2007

Tolmie star-tulip

From six feet up, the tiny 3/4-inch white triangle didn’t look like much, but through the miracle of a lens I found a new favorite wild flower. Near the start of a hike today on USFS trail #372 into the Munson Creek drainage in Western Montana’s Cabinet mountains, it was pleasing to see the Thimbleberries were in bloom along the creek, and these blossoms are much larger than most, nearly two inches across. It will be worth a trip back later when the berries are ripe! Thimbleberry blossom Thimbleberry blossom Thimbleberry blossom After another half mile up the trail the terrain leveled out somewhat. The area had been selectively logged many years ago, and the remaining trees, mature firs and Ponderosa pines are spread fairly far apart providing beautiful conditions of open shade with low bushes and plentiful grasses. It was there that the little white triangles began to show up in the low grasses between the trees. I had not seen this wild flower before and decided to photograph it. As the lens brought it up close, I fell in love with Calochortus tolmiei! Tolmie star, Calochortus tolmiei Tolmie star, Calochortus tolmiei Tolmie star, Calochortus tolmiei Tolmie star-tulip, Calochortus tolmiei Tolmie star-tulip, Calochortus tolmiei Tolmie star-tulip, Calochortus tolmiei Munson Creek is within the 13,902 acre TeePee – Spring Creek roadless area in the Lolo National Forest. This area would receive the protection of a “wilderness” designation under the provisions of the Wilderness Bill, HR 1975 as noted on page 52 of the Bill.

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