Montana Outdoors

August 14, 2011

Wildflowers of summer (9)

I have gotten far behind in posting summer wildflower finds. Perhaps I can catch up…

Prickly Sandwort

Prickly Sandwort ~ Eremogone aculeata – Found on Big Hole Peak

Spotted Saxifrage

Spotted Saxifrage ~ Saxifraga bronchialis – Found on Big Hole Peak

American Vetch

American Vetch – Found along Big Hole Peak trail

White Bog-orchid

White Bog-orchid ~ Platanthera dilatata – Found along Little Thompson River


Unidentified – Found along Little Thompson River


Unidentified -Found along Little Thompson River


  1. Really like staying up with your flower photos. I like the Saxifrage as a flower and as a name.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — August 14, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    • The name saxifrage is based on two Latin words that mean “breaking stone.” The ancients may have thought that one or more species of saxifrage could be used medicinally to break up stones in the urinary tract.

      I wonder if the spots on the petals of this Montana species are there to attract insects.

      Steve Schwartzman


      Comment by Steve Schwartzman — August 14, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    • I like both the name and the flower too. It is rather special to me because the only place where I have encountered it is at the base of the east end of the north wall of the old lookout cabin on Big Hole mountain.


      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  2. So pretty!


    Comment by Paula Tohline Calhoun — August 14, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  3. That area where you found the American Vetch, gorgeous!


    Comment by Candace — August 14, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

    • That’s a Lodgepole Pine forest that covers most of the Big Hole area, at least on the south side. At that elevation it stays nice and green all summer.


      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  4. Amazing how many different wildflowers there are in Montana. I really like those spotted ones.


    Comment by thedailyclick — August 14, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    • The number of species is really amazing. I didn’t realize how many there are until I started too photograph all that I could. Even now, there are many that I’ve missed I’m sure.


      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  5. I’ve never seen any of these. I really like the spotted saxifrage.


    Comment by jomegat — August 14, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  6. I am especially enamored with the orchids. We always think of them being such exotic plants, yet they grow in many damp areas. I once saw a large clearing in the midst of some trees on the big island of Hawaii that was full of orchids. It looked much like a field of wildflowers that we might find here on the mainland. Beautiful photos as always.


    Comment by anniespickns — August 14, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    • I have been surprised at how many species of orchid we have in this area. I know there are several more around that I haven’t encountered yet too. The little Calypso ones and the Ladyslippers are fairly numerous, but the others are very sparse.


      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  7. I appreciate your wildflower photos, it’s so interesting getting to see what you find out on your hikes. Lovely photos of them!


    Comment by farmhouse stories — August 15, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    • I’m pleased that you enjoy them, Cait! It just seems that they don’t get all that much attention or appreciation, and they are so beautiful!


      Comment by Montucky — August 15, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  8. Although all are wonderful (and really educational given the detail) my favorite is the white bog orchid. Gorgeous!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — August 15, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    • I have been intrigued by the fact that we have several species of orchids in the wild. They are all pretty and interesting to me.


      Comment by Montucky — August 15, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  9. Hi Montucky, I love that Spotted Safarax flower. Have a super good day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 15, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    • The rows of spots are pretty, aren’t they! The blossoms are small but well decorated!


      Comment by Montucky — August 15, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  10. I’d have to say the Spotted Saxifrage is my fave on this page. Very cute!


    Comment by Barbara — August 15, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    • I saw that one for the first time several years ago and wondered why I had always missed it. It seems to be a shy little flower.


      Comment by Montucky — August 15, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  11. Very nice assortment of “catching-up” pictures. I especially like Bog-Orchids.



    Comment by knightofswords — August 15, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

    • I still have more catching up to do, just with the ones I’ve already photographed. I know there are many that I will miss this year: I’ve been working on a big remodeling project and haven’t been out as much as I would have liked.


      Comment by Montucky — August 15, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  12. I LOVE the Spotted Saxifrage… have never seen that plant myself. As for the unidentified one… I swear I saw it in Sweden and when I get to the set of images of wildflowers from Sweden, I will have to see if my memory is correct… IF I saw it when visiting with my cousins, it will have an ID on it.


    Comment by Victoria — August 16, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    • I had read about the Spotted Saxifrage and knew that it grew in this area but had never seen one until one day I nearly stumbled over it at the Bog Hole lookout. THey are pretty!


      Comment by Montucky — August 16, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  13. I love them all! It seems so odd to have orchids that high up. But, I guess they are no different that lady slippers. I like the spotted saxifrage, too. Hey I even like saying it!
    How long until you get your first frost?


    Comment by sandy — August 16, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    • I have always been surprised that orchids grow here at all, but apparently there are several very hardy species around. Hard to say about a frost. I would guess in about a month, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sooner, especially at a higher elevation. It was 46 here last night.


      Comment by Montucky — August 16, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  14. Is the Un-ID’d one alone on its stalk or do several blossoms cling to a stem?


    Comment by Kim — August 17, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    • I’ve seen only one blossom at a time. I think perhaps the last two are different blossoms too, but I’m not sure. They seem to grow far back in the shade of other plants and I’ve seen them only along the Little Thompson River.


      Comment by Montucky — August 18, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

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