Montana Outdoors

June 7, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (9)

This series of photos was taken on one brief trip through an area of the Flathead Reservation not far from here where I also found the Bitterroots in bloom. I must have chosen exactly the right time to go there.

Dalmatian Toadflax, Butter and Eggs

Dalmatian Toadflax, Butter and Eggs, ~ Linaria vulgaris 6/1

Unknown ID

Dame’s Rocket, Wild Phlox ~ Hesperis matronalis.  I see them along the highways, but not usually anywhere near ranch houses, and never away from the roads either. They grow in very thick bunches and get to be over three feet tall. 6/1

Rydberg's penstemon

Rydberg’s penstemon ~ Penstemon rydbergii 6/1

Small-flowered Penstemon, Littleflower Penstemon

Small-flowered Penstemon, Littleflower Penstemon ~ Penstemon procerus 6/1


Yarrow ~ Achillea millefolium 6/1

Cushion Buckwheat

Cushion Buckwheat

Cushion Buckwheat ~ Eriogonum ovalifolium 6/1

Sulphur Lupine

Sulphur Lupine

Sulphur Lupine ~ Lupinus sulphureus 6/1


  1. I just wanted to say that though I haven’t commented much in the past months I have been looking at the photos you have been posting and the flowers in particular show a truly great series of shots. Thanks for sharing them all with us and I look forward to seeing more of the same. Great work. The only problem is you are making me very envious of your talent and efforts.


    Comment by Dave — June 7, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    • Thanks for the kind words, Dave! I appreciate them very much! I hope everything is going well with you and your new wife!


      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

  2. I like the cushion buckwheat..All of your photos are wonderful and keep us informed as to what is what in Montana


    Comment by mitambien — June 7, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

    • I’m glad I got these shots when I did. We have been having heavy rain for the last three days and I wonder what that is doing to the blossoms!


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 7:44 am

  3. Beautiful detail on these images. Yarrow is blooming in Ohio as well!


    Comment by Watching Seasons — June 8, 2011 @ 5:55 am

    • I think Yarrow blossoms are very pretty, and they stay around so long into summer. It must have a very successful survival strategy!


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  4. Your Linaria vulgaris is a little ahead of ours. I’ve seen the plants this spring, but I don’t expect to see the flowers for another couple of weeks.


    Comment by jomegat — June 8, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    • Yesterday when I was driving through one of the more arid areas in western Montana, I saw lots of the plants sprinkled across the grassland. It is classified as a Category 1 noxious weed in Montana: I’m not sure what all that means except that it is established and widespread here.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  5. Ohhh ohhh ohhh they’re all soooo pretty, but 2 3 & 4 are my favs & here I didn’t think I was quite that fond of purple… heheheee


    Comment by Tricia — June 8, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    • Yes, those are very colorful. The penstemons will be blooming in various places around here until fall now. They really add friendly splashes of color to the hillsides.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 8:36 am

  6. Just beautiful, all absolutely beautiful. Your close-up shots are nothing less than fabulous.


    Comment by Wild_Bill — June 8, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    • Thanks Bill! With subjects like wildflowers it’s hard to go wrong, and there’s plenty of incentive to photograph them. I’m quite motivated to let other folks see how beautiful the wild plants can be. Not all, but most of my photos are taken in our National Forests and they, of course, belong to all of the citizens of our country so everyone has an ownership right.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  7. Hi Montucky, I am again oohing and aaahing! Gorgeous pictures. I like the Yarrow. You took a great macro of this pretty flower. I had a bunch of Yarrow in my yard in North Eastern Texas when I lived there many years ago. Have a super day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 8, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    • The flowers are indeed gorgeous now. I think that most everybody likes yarrow: it’s quite familiar to so many.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  8. penstemon and buckwheat= there’s that jewelry look again! 😉

    Gorgeous photos, Terry!


    Comment by Barbara — June 8, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    • I don’t think It’s too far off target to think of wildflowers as nature’s jewelry.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  9. A wonderful collection! Nice to see the Montana flowers of spring.


    Comment by knightofswords — June 8, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    • Before I began to document them with photos I had no idea there were so many.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  10. They are all pretty. I have penstemon growing in my garden here, but it really isn’t nature to our area.
    Why have L always thought buckwheat was a grain? What a pretty little flower. It looks a lot like thrift.

    Your mystery plant is dame’s rocket, also called wild phlox. It is blooming here now along the roadsides.


    Comment by sandy — June 8, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    • Thanks for that ID! I’ve been trying to figure that out for several years. There are several versions of buckwheat and I’ve been surprised by all of them.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  11. Cushion buckwheat? Sulpher lupine? What marvelous flowers with marvelous names. You struck the wildflower goldmine!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — June 8, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

    • This last group has been more colorful than most of the earlier ones. There are still many more yet to bloom, perhaps a couple dozen more.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  12. these are absolutely gorgeous, all of them!


    Comment by silken — June 8, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

    • They really are. I will never get over them blooming wild like they do back in the most remote regions of the forests.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  13. That photo of the small flowered penstemon is awesome in detail and color. Your comment section is different, was there a change on WordPress I didn’t read about?


    Comment by Candace — June 8, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    • I didn’t see the change publicized either, it just happened. I’m not even sure I like it. I’ve also been having problems with several other blog host sites lately too. They seem to even be making it more difficult to comment: at least WordPress doesn’t seem to have done that.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

      • Strange, it must have just been on certain templates because mine is the same. I often have problems with blogger/blogspot blogs when I try to leave comments.


        Comment by Candace — June 9, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  14. What an impressive collection of wild flowers. They all are so beautiful, but my favorite was the second from the top. Your country is wonderful. when thinking what treasures it is showing.


    Comment by sartenada — June 10, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    • I keep wondering why there have evolved so many different ones.


      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  15. What magnificent views of all these wildflowers… each unique and has its own beauty. I really like the Small-flowered Penstemon in its deep purples and bell shapes, and the Cushion Buckwheat with the creamy delicate clusters. Great captures, Montucky.


    Comment by Anna — June 10, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    • I have found the penstemons to be difficult to photograph with their subtle colors. They sure are pretty though, and they can be found just about everywhere now at lower elevations. Oddly, today I was on a high trail and there were no flowers blooming at all yet up there.


      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  16. Love the Small-flowered Penstemon … my favorite colors altogether in the same place.


    Comment by bearyweather — June 10, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    • Yes, I like the colors of that one too. They are very pretty colors!


      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

  17. Though they are related, I hadn’t hear the Dalmation Toadflax called Butter n Eggs before. Butter n Eggs is a native wildflower in Wisconsin, and superficially similar to the larger toadflax plant, which is indeed a noxious weed here. (But with pretty blossoms, just like its wild cousin!)


    Comment by Kim — June 10, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  18. I agree that the pink flower is dame’s rocket. It is considered an invasive here, even though it is sweet smelling and very pretty. It gets pulled with the garlic mustard in nature perserves around here. We have it, but I don’t have the heart to pull it…at least not yet. I may regret that in the future! I love the cushion buckwheat. We don’t have that here, and it looks like a very pretty little plant.


    Comment by kateri — June 11, 2011 @ 3:01 am

    • I haven’t seen dame’s rocket yet on Montana’s list of invasives but I can see how it could be a big problem because it grows so thick. Very pretty though. The only place I’ve seen the buckwheat is on very dry low altitude hillsides. It must like a lot of sun and need little water.


      Comment by montucky — June 11, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  19. You said: “I haven’t been able to identify this one: I think it might be a domestic flower. I see them along the highways, but not usually anywhere near ranch houses, but never away from the roads either. They grow in very thick bunches and get to be over three feet tall. 6/1”
    I believe these are called “stocks” and they are in the mustard family. They are indeed a garden escapee that becomes naturalized very easily. I just photographed some today along the turgid Clark Fork River.


    Comment by Kim — June 16, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    • I think they may be Dame’s Rocket, Wild Phlox ~ Hesperis matronalis, the sister of stocks ~ Matthiola. USDA Plants shows it as growing in Montana and also that several states consider it a noxious weed which would be consistent with a garden escapee.


      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: