Montana Outdoors

April 5, 2011

“stone wall” flowers

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:11 pm

Small-flowered Woodland Star

Small-flowered Woodland Star

Small-flowered Woodland Star ~ Lithophragma parviflorum ~ Saxifrage family

The genus name of this flower comes from the Greek lithos, ‘a stone’, and phragma, ‘a wall’, referring to the habitat of some species and I have indeed found them growing right against the rock on cliff walls.


  1. These are beautiful! Are they related to star chickweed?


    Comment by farmhouse stories — April 5, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    • I’m not familiar with star chickweed, but I know field chickweed is in the “pink” family.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  2. These are remarkable little gems.


    Comment by Frances Schenck — April 5, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    • They sure are, Frances. The blossoms are just a little bigger than 1/4 inch across and the stems are about 3 inches tall, so they are small, but very pretty.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  3. Simply beautiful!


    Comment by anniespickns — April 5, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    • I think they are too! They are found in early spring, but some will also be blooming a month or two from now.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

  4. Oh wow! So pretty! they look like they have been dipped in glitter..


    Comment by mitambien — April 5, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    • I think that glitter look comes from my flash. There was a very strong and gusty wind this afternoon when I found these and I had to shield them with an umbrella so the very fragile blossoms would stay relatively still. The umbrella also blocked the light and so I had to use flash to get the photos.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  5. The petals look like they are an unusual texture. Maybe that is from the flash, though. Pretty.


    Comment by Candace — April 5, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    • There certainly is a texture there on the petals and the flash simply emphasizes it I think.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  6. We had a lone volunteer woodland star in your back yard prairie garden last year; we didn’t plant it, so it must’ve come in with some other seed mix. I hope it seeded itself; they’re great little flowers. I never was able to get in in-focus shot, though, because they move with the slightest breeze.


    Comment by columbiahighlands — April 5, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

    • Yes they are difficult to photograph, the blossoms are so delicate. They are pretty hardy little plants though. It’s surprising what they can endure.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  7. Beautiful flowers Montucky and completely new to me! I really like seeing flora from different parts of the country and this beauty is no exception. The details in the first photo are wonderful.


    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 6, 2011 @ 5:14 am

    • This is found only in 11 of the states west of the Mississippi and the two western provinces of Canada. I don’t understand why many of the wild flowers have that kind of limited distribution.


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  8. Lovely sparkly flowers with neat petal patterns.


    Comment by Anna — April 6, 2011 @ 6:06 am

  9. Hi Montucky, This is the first time I have ever seen these lovely flowers. Great shots. Have a really special day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 6, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    • They are quite small, bloom very early and I think are usually overlooked other than as just a tiny spot of white.


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  10. The woodland star is pretty in both color and shape.

    It reminds of something but, I can’t think what. Still nothing blooming near me. Didn’t see the butterfly when I went walking today, either. It was sunny, but cold and windy.


    Comment by sandy — April 6, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    • There are more yellow bells blooming here now and lots and lots of buttercups. Oregon Grape is also about to start its bloom, slowed today though by cold temperatures and snow flurries.


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  11. I like these flowers. I’ve never seen anything else quite like them.


    Comment by Ratty — April 6, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    • Yes, they are quite unusual and very small. I hadn’t seen their beauty until I was able to photograph them.


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  12. These are really precious. Love the name too.


    Comment by Tammy McLeod — April 7, 2011 @ 5:41 am

  13. The rocks grow flowers there? How cool is that! heheheee


    Comment by Tricia — April 7, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    • It almost seems that way. Often on a sheer cliff a little dust will blow in on a wind and settle in a small crevice on a shelf, then another breeze or a bird perhaps will bring a seed. These flowers are so small that they can comfortably grow in such a place.


      Comment by montucky — April 7, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

  14. They look lovely, as if they might be very small and delicate. Pretty little things.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — April 7, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    • They are very small and the petals are so thin the slightest breeze will move them, yet the can weather late spring snow and frost very well.


      Comment by montucky — April 7, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  15. Lovely looking, to me unknown flower, but so beautiful. Your macros are awesome.


    Comment by sartenada — April 7, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    • They are so small that Most people don’t even notice them, but I think they are very pretty. They also have a very small distribution, only in the western half of the U.S.


      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  16. How beautiful! I particularly like the texture of the petals.


    Comment by Val Erde — April 8, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    • The petals are very delicate, not even half the thickness of a piece of writing paper, but well designed.


      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  17. The shape of the petals is unsual. Another very pretty little flower–and what I great photo. I often have a hard time getting decent photos of small flowers.


    Comment by kateri — April 10, 2011 @ 5:38 am

    • I have had difficulty with the small ones too. My best luck with them has been to use a very small aperture, up to f29, and that usually requires the use of flash. There are many trade-offs!


      Comment by montucky — April 10, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  18. Your wildflowers are so different than ours. Stunning beauty!


    Comment by Marcie — April 10, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    • Isn’t it interesting, the different species that are found in only the east or the west parts of the country!


      Comment by montucky — April 10, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  19. Thanks for the condolences and the ID for the ‘ume’ blossom… that is about the only spelling I didn’t try when I was trying to ID the plant!

    These are gorgeous images… lovely iridescence to the petals on both images and gorgeous bokehs too!


    Comment by Victoria — April 10, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    • I didn’t know if that was the “ume”, but it seemed to make sense!

      I think these little flowers are usually overlooked because of their size. They look like just small flecks of white. It really takes a good lens to see what they are like.


      Comment by montucky — April 10, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

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