Montana Outdoors

April 27, 2011

They come in white, too.

White Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

White Shooting Star

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40 Comments »

  1. Now I can say I’ve seen a shooting star flower. Very pretty!

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    Comment by mitambien — April 27, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    • That was my favorite wildflower when I was a child, and I still love to see it.

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      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  2. In all my years in Montana I never once saw the white ones That is really great. What abeautiful flower it is.A boquet of both colors would be fantastic…

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    Comment by Frances Schenck — April 27, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    • I have seen photos of white ones, but this is the first I’ve seen myself. I was surprised and delighted to see it today.

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      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

  3. I’ve never seen the white ones either, though I have seen normally blue lupine in both white and in pink.

    What is your take on picking bouquets of wildflowers, montucky? Except for the most common and sturdy flowers, it seems to me that picking them might threaten their abundance. And many wildflowers seem to wilt rather than thrive in a bouquet anyway. I can’t tell you how often I’ve found discarded bouquets while hiking in Montana.

    It seems that we should be able to appreciate these beauties without possessing them…

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    Comment by Kim — April 27, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    • I wish I knew more about the color variations in wildflowers. These white ones are very different from the ones of which I have seen photos, and there were just the two stalks in an area that contained several hundred of the purple ones.

      When I was a kid, the population in these parts was much less and the wildflowers grew in profusion. We picked bouquets for our Mothers at least once every spring and didn’t dent to flower population. It is different today, in both the human population which has grown and the number of wildflowers which has decreased because of loss of habitat. Centuries ago the Indians harvested many wildflower roots or bulbs for food and some still do that today, but the plants just aren’t as plentiful. In the outskirts of Missoula in the 40’s, Bitterroots grew in abundance and I remember many Indians coming there to harvest them. I used to visit their camps as a child. Today I doubt if you can even find a Bitterroot in that area. Much has changed since then!

      Hundreds of years ago, wars were fought over the harvesting rights to camas meadows. Today camas flowers are not easy to find, although I do know of one large meadow that still contains a “war’s worth” of them.

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2011 @ 12:13 am

      • Another “flower” I’ve found with white blooms instead of the normal pinkish purple is the noxious weed “knapweed”.

        I have seen bitterroots on rocky hilltops in the Missoula area, but probably a decade ago. They are so inconspicuous when they are not in bloom that they are under the radar for most people.

        I’ve also seen them on the 17 mile Wildlife Drive at the Bison Range near Moise.

        There are a couple camas patches in the Blackfoot Valley that look like ponds when they are in bloom. I hear Lolo Pass has a real good display of Camas.

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        Comment by Kim — April 28, 2011 @ 2:05 am

        • I haven’t seen any white knapweed; interesting. I’ve heard of the camas near Lolo Pass but not seen it.

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          Comment by montucky — April 28, 2011 @ 8:02 am

          • I believe the specific area at Lolo Pass where the Camas bloom is called “Packer Meadows” if you want to go looking for them. The Missoulian newspaper often prints a heads-up as to when they are in bloom.

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            Comment by Kim — April 28, 2011 @ 9:56 am

            • Some time perhaps I will visit Packer meadows. Visiting my favorite camas meadow not too far from here also puts me right alongside a good trout stream.

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              Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  4. Nearly shocking detail in these photographs! So beautiful. How fortunate we live in such a wonderful world with so much to enjoy!

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    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 28, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    • Yes, we are indeed fortunate. There are so many beautiful things in the natural world that can be enjoyed by anyone who will go to where they are.

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  5. Oh wow! I love these. How do I get to your house again?

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    Comment by burstmode — April 28, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    • You would love photographing the wildflowers here! Just head north-northwest for about 2000 miles. Bring a jacket and rain gear.

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2011 @ 8:07 am

  6. ooooh – how to choose!
    Good thing you don’t have to!!

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    Comment by Stacey Dawn — April 28, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    • I would be very hard pressed to decide on a favorite wildflower, Stacey. I guess my favorites are the ones blooming at the time.

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2011 @ 8:09 am

      • Do you have pasque flowers in your area, Montucky? (Also called wild crocus or prairie crocus by some.) That would be my nomination for favorite Montana wildflower, both because they are so showy and because they are one of the first spring bloomers around here. I was first exposted to/enchanted by them in Wisconsin as a youth.

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        Comment by Kim — April 28, 2011 @ 10:01 am

        • I have never seen them in this area. I would like to find them though because I’ve seen photos, and they are very pretty.

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          Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  7. Hi Montucky, I love those close-up shots of the flowers. Great camera work. How lovely! Have a great day!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 28, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    • Finding and photographing wildflowers is one of my favorite things because it combines so many activities.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  8. And, I like them! I see from the last shot that they grow side by side. We had violet and white violets that do that.

    Shooting Star is such a good name, isn’t it?

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    Comment by sandy — April 28, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    • Yes, it’s a perfect name for them. Sometimes they will have many blossoms on a single stalk, especially toward the end of their blooming period.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  9. Such gorgeous wildflowers – in whatever color combos they come in. Exquisite detail in these images!

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    Comment by Marcie — April 28, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    • Yes, these are very pretty ones. I don’t understand the strategy of their unusual shape, but I enjoy it.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  10. You and the wildflowers are outdoing yourselves. These are such lovely shapes. And I like the white, very nice. Though that purple one is a show stopper, for sure.

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — April 28, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    • Once you get used to having your face in the dirt, the early wildflowers are really fun to shoot. Unfortunately it’s also a good way to acquire wood ticks.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  11. So stunning photos. I love all those photos. White flowers here are not so common; only Midnight roses come to my mind in this moment.

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    Comment by sartenada — April 29, 2011 @ 3:30 am

    • I’ve noticed that not all, but most wildflowers flourish in places that have never been disturbed by human efforts. Many depend on unique soil conditions that are altered by any kind of development.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  12. Ohhh preeetty! Ya’ll are getting more & more flowers now… Spring has sprung in Montana!!! =)

    Thanks for the comments during the flood… much appreciated! =)

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    Comment by Tricia — April 29, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    • It started looking like spring, but late last night I came home in a driving snowstorm and we still had snow on the ground this morning. This kind of weather might last another month too I understand.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  13. Oh my, I really like the shooting stars! They are unusually lovely. 🙂

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    Comment by Anna — April 29, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    • Yes, they are lovely little ones. I was very pleased to finally see white ones!

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

  14. Our garden club met two days ago… our speaker was Cristol Fleming who co-authored a Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area which I purchased from her. She discussed five nearby habitats/preserves where one can find wildflowers in our area. Armed with this information, maybe next year I’ll have an image of Shooting Star!

    Really marvelous images!

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    Comment by Victoria — April 29, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    • I can see how her book would be very valuable! I’m fortunate here that there is so much of the forest close by that hasn’t been touched and the wildflowers are blooming as they always have. They need that or some kind of a preserve to exist. This year I’ve noticed more than before where the flowers thrive and where there are none. I’m old enough to remember places where they used to be plentiful and which now contain none.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  15. Another flower that I don’t think we have here (or if we have, I’ve not seen them). Beautiful.

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    Comment by Val — April 30, 2011 @ 6:47 am

    • I don’t have anything that shows world wide distribution. They are native to nearly all of the U.S. and most of Canada.

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      Comment by montucky — April 30, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  16. Those are some fine shooting star photographs. Is it finally spring there? : )

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    Comment by kcjewel — May 1, 2011 @ 5:59 am

    • Well, we had snow Thursday night, and we are now about a thousand feet below the snow level, so a breeze coming off the snow is still cold.

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      Comment by montucky — May 1, 2011 @ 8:24 am

  17. Those are so pretty, I never see them here.

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    Comment by Candace — May 1, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    • I don’t remember seeing them in Arizona either, but “USDA Plants” shows that they are native there. It would have to be in the northern part.

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      Comment by montucky — May 1, 2011 @ 9:16 pm


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