Montana Outdoors

May 3, 2010

Spring Beauties

Western Spring Beauty

Western Spring Beauty

Western Spring BeautyWestern Spring Beauty, Lanceleaf spring beauty, Claytonia lanceolata

There seems to be some disagreements about exactly what these should be called, whether Western Spring Beauty, or Lanceleaf Spring Beauty. If I were to choose a side it would be Western Spring Beauty (Claytonia lancelata, var. rosea). Whatever. They are still pretty little spring flowers!

(Today was stormy with wind velocities of around 35mph and gusts up to 50mph with light rain and temperatures in the 40’s. Photography was done in the prone position using an old umbrella as a wind-break. Camera stayed dry; photographer didn’t.)


  1. I love spring beauties. Delicate hint of purple in yours.

    And isn’t it a rule that the photographer always gets wet? And muddy too, from lying prone on the ground! But it must be fun, or you wouldn’t keep doing it!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — May 3, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    • There are several varieties in this region. I stopped to see these today because I knew where they would be. They don’t seem to be doing as well as usual though.

      Yep. wet and muddy, but keep your powder (camera) dry!


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

  2. Thanks for the neat blog. I loved the photos. Please check out my blog @ It’s a nature blog too. Matbe we could exchange links?
    – Song of the wolf


    Comment by songofthewolf — May 3, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

    • Thanks for visiting, songofthewolf! I visited your blog and I like what your are doing there. I have added you to my list of WordPress blogs that I follow and I will visit often.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  3. So lovely. I miss spring beauties. We don’t seem to have any in our woods…


    Comment by kateri — May 3, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

    • They seem to grow in patches here, usually quite far apart. I missed them for years and then found several places.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  4. Plus you have a bonus critter on the last shot. Such pretty pastels in these flowers.


    Comment by Candace — May 3, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    • That little critter came from behind the flower. I saw him peeking out and waited until he came all of the way out. That’s part of the natural life of the plant although I don’t recognize that particular little guy.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

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  6. Oh, these are quite lovely! I really like the first photo and the last photo has a type of bug, perhaps some type of aphid, on the flower.


    Comment by Anna Surface — May 4, 2010 @ 9:24 am

    • Thanks Anna. I waited to snap the shot until that little critter came out to the front. I don’t know exactly what it is.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  7. I look forward to these little beauties, but here in the NW MT. I have not seen flowers in my woods. Well two dandelions and one well I am not sure what it is, maybe a grass flower. Lovely to see your beauties.


    Comment by Tammie — May 4, 2010 @ 9:58 am

    • I think it has been a little colder up there than here (about a hundred miles south of you). Perhaps they will be a little late. Our wildflowers have mostly bloomed at their usual times, but their populations are quite sparse because of the dry winter.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  8. I know we are supposed to have spring beauties here, but have never found them. Just exactly how small are they?


    Comment by sandy — May 4, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    • They are not really tiny. The stems are maybe 2 to 4 inches tall and the blossoms are around 1/4 inch across, some larger in the later blooms. They are quite visible. I have seen them in groups spreading 50 yards long, but I’ve also sen them spread apart through a section of woods. They are not like, say, buttercups which seem to be everywhere when they bloom. These are numerous in an area then there will be none at all in other areas.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  9. um, does your wife ever tell you you’re crazy?! 🙂 pretty flowers though!


    Comment by silken — May 4, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    • Often silken, but she’s generally pretty tolerant of it.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

  10. I’ve always thought the name for these flowers was quite fitting.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 4, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  11. The Spring Beauties look like Disney characters. I can hear the music play as these petals with their pink slippers dance in unison. I swear you can see faces on them.


    Comment by Preston — May 5, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    • I can sure see the colors in a Disney production all right.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  12. Very lovely looking spring flower. I have not seen it here. Your macros are awesome.


    Comment by sartenada — May 9, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    • For many years I overlooked this flower and when I did discover it I fell in love. Now I look forward to their bloom each spring. I’ve found them blooming right up against the last of the snow banks in the high country.


      Comment by montucky — May 10, 2010 @ 12:05 am

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