Montana Outdoors

June 8, 2009

Queen’s cup

Several years ago the local Ranger District, in their infinite wisdom, decided to abandon the trail that followed TeePee Creek below Big Hole Peak near the southeast end of the Cabinet Mountains and at the same time demolished the short road leading to the trail head.

I sometimes go there anyway and last night while hiking through the mess that used to be the access road I stumbled upon this flower that I had never seen before. It seems to like the dense forest shade just above the creek bottom on the north-facing slope. With its golden stamens forming a crown over the pure white cup-shaped blossom, this flower seems to be well named.

Queen's cup

Queen's cup

Queen's cup

AKA Bride’s Bonnet,
Clintonia uniflora
Lily family

Found only in AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, AB, BC


  1. Haven’t seen it here in the Adirondacks either! Lovely!


    Comment by Cedar — June 9, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    • I can’t believe I hadn’t seen one before. The blossoms are about an inch and a half in diameter too, so they’re quite large for wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — June 9, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  2. Great closeup! It would be nice to see some photos of this plant later on with it’s single blue berry. Another name for this plant is “bead lily” or “blue-eyed lily”. 🙂


    Comment by Maureen — June 9, 2009 @ 9:36 am

    • I’ll get a photo of the berries later on. Strangely, though I’ve not seen the blossoms before, I’m quite sure I’ve noticed the berries and wondered what they were.


      Comment by montucky — June 9, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

  3. Lovely as always.


    Comment by Lillie — June 9, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  4. Hey, Montucky. I don’t know if you remember me, but I used to go by the moniker SonofKingPharmacist on WritingUp. I saw a link to your blog on Pinhole’s site and was surprised to see your name on it. Good to know that a few WritingUppers are staying connected. I still miss that place even after all these years.

    At any rate, your blog looks great. You take some really good photos. I’ll be checking in.

    All the best.


    Comment by Evil Mammoth — June 9, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

    • It’s good to hear from you! I saved the link to your present blog and will visit. Like you, I still miss Writingup. There was just something about that place! A lot of those folks gravitated to MySpace, but I never did feel comfortable there.


      Comment by montucky — June 9, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

  5. But perhaps it is better that the wilderness has reclaimed the area. As it was meant to be.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — June 9, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    • Perhaps, but that was an enjoyable trail too and part of the USFS trail system. They created a new one last year in another area that essentially duplicated an existing one. Doesn’t make sense.


      Comment by montucky — June 9, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

  6. What a lovely little surprise! Too bad about the trail, though. Government…


    Comment by Candace — June 10, 2009 @ 2:05 am

    • I suppose I should be happy that there are still a lot of trails that are being maintained. Problem is, the Forest Service budget is being spent on so many fire issues that should be the responsibility of those who choose to build in fire-prone areas and expect the public to pay the bills for defending them.


      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2009 @ 7:56 am

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