Montana Outdoors

July 21, 2011

Wildflowers of summer (6)


Self-heal ~ Prunella vulgaris


Narrow-leaf Hawksbeard, Annual Hawksbeard, Rooftop Hawksbeard ~ Crepis tectorum

Blue Elderberry

Blue Elderberry ~ Sambucus caerulea

Spreading Dogbane

Spreading Dogbane ~ Apocynum androsaemifolium

Mothe Mullein

Mothe Mullein

Moth Mullein ~ Verbascum blattaria


  1. Mothe Mullein is coool!


    Comment by Roberta — July 21, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    • It’s an odd looking blossom, but I think it’s rather pretty. It was introduced here from Eurasia. I’ve seen very few of them but I doubt that they are rare. (I just noticed that I had spelled it incorrectly, with an “e”: it’s really “Moth” mullein. Don’t know where I picked that up!)


      Comment by Montucky — July 21, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  2. Really nice flowers. I enjoyed all photos from them. There were some which can be found here.

    Prunella vulgaris, is in Finland, but I have not seen it.
    Crepis tectorum, in Finland.
    Sambucus caerulea, not exactly that one, but we have Sambucus racemosa.
    Apocynum androsaemifolium, not to be found here.
    Verbascum blattaria, not, but this one, but we have here Verbascum thapsus.


    Comment by sartenada — July 22, 2011 @ 2:42 am

    • We have Sambucus racemosa and Verbascum thapsus here also but I haven’t encountered them yet this summer.


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  3. Mmmmh, I can almost smell these beauties! 🙂
    I’m so glad you posted the picture of the Blue Elderberry! I took pictures of one during our vacation, but had no idea what it was. It *kind of* looked like lilac (it’s been a while since I’ve seen one in person) but the flowers seemed too small. You’ll have to let me know if it’s really Blue Elderberry whenever I get a chance to post the picture on my blog.


    Comment by thedailyclick — July 22, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    • I will watch for your photo. The individual blossoms are quite small and grow always in clusters near the top of the plant. The berries will be a light, dusty blue.


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  4. Wow the Moth Mullein is really beautiful. I don’t think I have ever seen that one before. Will definitely keep an eye out next mountain walk I take. My sis and I had a chance to spend last weekend in various Sierra locations and the flowers were spectacular as were the creeks, rivers and waterfalls. Each time I see your beautiful posts I want to jump in the car and head for the high country to experience them in person.


    Comment by anniespickns — July 22, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    • I would love to spend some time in the Sierras: I’m sure it would give me another whole world of wildflowers. My daughter lives in the Santa Rosa area and has photographed some gorgeous flowers on her hikes.


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  5. The flowers are beautiful, especially w/ that blue blue sky background! =)


    Comment by Tricia — July 22, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    • After our long winter and rainy spring the blue sky looked good to me too, although right now I would love to have some more rain. We are on the verge of wildfire season already.


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 9:03 am

  6. Hi Montucky, Boy are your pictures detailed. I love it how well you can see the little hairs and texture of the surface of the blooms. Have a super nice day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 22, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    • I like the details that the close-up lens picks up too. Next year though I must do a better job of showing more of the plants and more size perspective: I will remember that.


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  7. I totally agree with wildlifewatcher, the small little details in your pictures are amazing. Now, if you could also attach smells to some of the sweet smelling flower pictures they would be perfect. 😉
    Dogbane can be found on the sides of most roads around here and I pick some at least once a summer. I like the smell of it … sort of reminds me of lily of the valley.


    Comment by bearyweather — July 22, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if we could include the smells… and the feel of the cool breezes and the ice cold water in the high country streams?


      Comment by Montucky — July 22, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  8. As I scroll thru your wildflower images…I just have to say – WOW! So much beauty – hidden in the undergrowth..waiting wildly to be captured by your camera’s lens. Gorgeous images!!!!


    Comment by Marcie — July 22, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    • Yes, there is an incredible amount of beauty as you said, hidden in the undergrowth. The small wildflowers are so pretty and sadly, their beauty is so seldom seen. I’m always very pleased to know that folks do enjoy seeing photos of them!


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  9. All are gorgeous in colors and details. I really like the the Self-heal and Blue Elderberry wildflowers. Montucky, you could truly have a wonderful photo book chronicling these Montana wildflowers with your awesome photos.


    Comment by Anna — July 22, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    • I think about that Anna, but while there is a very large number of wildflowers that I am able to photograph here, they represent only a part of the flowers in Montana, and I know so little about them that I would have to have a lot of help putting together a book.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:07 am

  10. The Blue Elderberry looks like white lilacs!


    Comment by Barbara — July 22, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    • At first glance they do remind me of white lilacs too, with the large clusters of small blossoms.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  11. Wonderful photos as always, Montucky! I love the Self-heal and Moth mullien. I’m always amazed at the variety of wildflowers you find.


    Comment by farmhouse stories — July 22, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    • I’m also amazed at the number of wildflower species that I find, knowing that I miss a lot more, and my wanderings cover only such a small area of perhaps one thousand square miles out of the 147 thousand square miles in Montana.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  12. I think the elderberry looks like lilac, too. Maybe they are related.
    We have self heal, and spreading dogbane, Also a mullien, but it is sort of plain, compared to you fancy one.


    Comment by sandy — July 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    • Elderberry is actually in the Caprifoloaceae family (Honeysuckle). We have two different species of Mullein here, this one and the Great Mullein, which is better known. Both are of Eurasian origin.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:22 am

  13. Gracious… this might be your best group yet! The moth mullein is absolutely georgeous and you captured it perfectly. The dogbane reminds me of hyacinth. These are spectacular!!


    Comment by kcjewel — July 22, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    • Thanks Jewel! I first encountered the Moth Mullein a couple of years ago. It is not widespread or plentiful in this are, but I think the blossoms are very pretty. The dogbane blossoms are fairly small, but the plants are quite plentiful in this area.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  14. I puzzled over the photo of the yellow and purple flower that turned out to be the lowly mullein. All these years I have missed seeing the flowers for the stalks!

    BTW, it is considered a weed (though not noxious), but the goldfinches love the seeds – which according to our local weed expert remain viable in the soil for 100 years! Which is why these big hairy plants seem to crop up along roadsides and other disturbed areas.


    Comment by Kim — July 22, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    • This particular Mullein (Verbascum blattaria) is a relative of the Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) which is the big hairy one. I think the Great Mullein blossoms are pretty too, but they haven’t begun to bloom yet in this area.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 12:34 am

      • Learn something every day! I didn’t know there was another. Now I’ll have to look more closely at the blooms of my local weed to see if it resembles the species you’ve presented here.


        Comment by Kim — July 23, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  15. You’ve posted another set of crisp and clear close-ups. I wish all the pictures on the internet were this sharp, other than those that are intentionally soft.

    Steve Schwartzman


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — July 23, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    • Thanks Steve. It’s just the results of a good lens I think. I wish the photos on some of the wildflower sites and USDA Plants were clearer. Burke Museum has some nice photos but they don’t cover your area.


      Comment by Montucky — July 23, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

  16. Love that moth mullien, very strange. Self-heal, unusual name, does it have some healing properties?


    Comment by Candace — July 24, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    • Self-heal was thought to stop bleeding, external and internal, but chemical tests on its extracts have found nothing chemically to substantiate this.


      Comment by Montucky — July 24, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  17. Those are great photos of the moth mullien–one of my favorite summer flowers. (It grows in the part of Michigan, but I don’t see it that often.)


    Comment by kateri — July 26, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    • I think it’s very pretty and adds some beauty to the landscape in the hotter part of summer too.


      Comment by Montucky — July 26, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  18. What a wonderful array of colours, shades and textures in those wild flowers ! Beautiful nature shots.


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — July 27, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    • Thank you! This has been a very good year for wildflowers, and there are many more yet to come if I can manage to encounter them.


      Comment by Montucky — July 27, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  19. I wish I had a book of your wildflower images… you have so many lovely images that would help me to ID wildflowers when I’m out west I’m sure! I find that none of the wildflower books I have work all that well for me… maybe I’m just not searching hard enough!


    Comment by Victoria — August 8, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    • I use a book that was published in British Columbia by Lone Pine Publishing titles “Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest”. I covers this area quite well. On Flickr I have a set of wildflower photos from this area that may be helpful too for reference.


      Comment by Montucky — August 8, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

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