Montana Outdoors

August 30, 2011

Pipsissewa

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:21 pm

All summer I looked forward to seeing this little shrub and was disappointed, thinking that I had missed it this year, but today on the west slope of Mount Baldy under the sub-alpine firs many were in bloom. I enjoy photographing it and especially enjoy displaying the photos, for you see, its pretty little face is almost always facing down toward the ground causing it to be overlooked. This one was growing on a very steep slope and I was able to slither up from below and get this view without disturbing the plant at all.

Pipsissewa, Common Prince's-pine

Pipsissewa, Prince’s-pine ~ Chimaphila umbellata

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34 Comments »

  1. That’s one of my favorites too. I have missed in previous years – it’s not hard to do.

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    Comment by jomegat — August 30, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    • I didn’t want to miss these this year. Luckily they are still blooming at the higher elevations here.

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

  2. Great shot – very interesting looking flower. Like the colors.

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    Comment by Mike — August 30, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  3. This flower is really fantastic.
    I’ve never heard of it before.
    These posts of your’s arw wonderful.
    Thanks for all you post on here.
    Frances

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    Comment by Frances Schenck — August 31, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    • I love these little flowers, Frances. They seem to thrive above about 5,000 feet and love the shade of the fir trees.

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  4. Unbelievable. That is the singularly most unique little plant I believe I’ve seen in a very long while. And beautiful. It looks like something concocted in a child’s fantasy candy shop. I am so glad to be able to start my day this way. Thank you.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — August 31, 2011 @ 5:37 am

    • Interesting: I’ve thought of them as a child’s candy too! I bet a candy like that would catch on!

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  5. Oh wow… now THESE are very interesting looking, and very pretty! Never seen them before.

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    Comment by thedailyclick — August 31, 2011 @ 5:59 am

    • They are found mostly in coniferous areas in the mountains and are often overlooked.

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  6. Thanks for your slithering, it’s amazing.

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    Comment by Anonymous — August 31, 2011 @ 6:15 am

  7. absolutely gorgeous, amazing how you captured it with so much detail!

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    Comment by Tammie — August 31, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    • Thanks to the close-up lens and on-camera flash for the detail. They were in deep shade, and their faces were turned down besides.

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  8. A favorite flower, with a favorite name. Love saying Pipsissewa!

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — August 31, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

    • I like the name too. It caught my fancy right away!

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  9. Sounds like an Indian tribe rather than a flower, but the look like little raspberry sundaes with a lime on top. Almost like a passion flower in the infant form or something. Love them! Thanks for slithering so we might have a peek!! 🙂

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    Comment by kcjewel — August 31, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

    • The name actually comes from the Cree Indian word pipisisilweu, which means “it breaks into small pieces”, because the leaves contain a substance that was supposed to dissolve kidney stones. They sure do look like a confection of some kind!

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  10. Stunning detail on these little flowers.

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    Comment by kateri — September 1, 2011 @ 5:06 am

  11. Looks like a piece of candy!

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    Comment by Paula Tohline Calhoun — September 1, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    • They remind me of candy too Paula. I bet a candy that looked like that would be quite popular!

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      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  12. They really do look like candy, as everyone says. Very unusual and pretty.

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    Comment by Candace — September 1, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  13. Interesting that so many comments liken these little beauties to looking like candy. That thought never entered my mind. I saw them as decorative buttons adorning a beautiful alpine cloak. Thank you for the information on where the name came from. I love ethnobotany.

    Off to the mountains for a week of R&R and time with my grand children and family. Thanks to your beautiful posts I’ll be even more interested in watching out for late blooming wildflowers.

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    Comment by anniespickns — September 2, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    • I hope you and your family have a great week and that there will be lots of flowers still in bloom!

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      Comment by montucky — September 2, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  14. They look like something else, not candy…I love these flowers but there is an erotic quality to them.

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    Comment by burstmode — September 2, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    • I guess they can be thought of in many different ways. Certainly they are unique blossoms.

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      Comment by montucky — September 2, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  15. Interesting that you call them a “shrub”, since they’re so small and single-stemmed, as I recollect. Are the stems woody?

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    Comment by Kim — September 5, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    • They are slightly woody and classified as a dwarf shrub. I would not have thought they were shrubs either, but I’m often surprised.

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      Comment by montucky — September 5, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  16. Shrinking violets, and now shy pipsissewa! I appreciate your efforts on behalf of this photo – I once tried to photograph the underside of an especially beautiful fungus, and it took some doing!

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    Comment by shoreacres — September 6, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    • Many of the wildflowers prove to be challenges for the photographer, but I think it is worth the effort. Perhaps that is much of the fun of it too. The steep mountains here are often helpful in attaining a position beneath a plant.

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      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  17. Such a colorful flower… although we’ve never met in real life, I enjoyed the mental image of you slithering underneath the flower to get this photograph. The colors are so vivid that it almost doesn’t look real… beautiful!

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    Comment by Victoria — September 16, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    • It’s really a pretty little flower, isn’t it! I try to photograph wildflowers without disturbing them or repositioning them. This one was growing just below the trail on a very steep hillside and so I could get below it and use my “wildflower tripod”, which is two elbows and a mustache.

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      Comment by montucky — September 17, 2011 @ 10:57 pm


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