Montana Outdoors

April 28, 2012

April flowers

Our western Montana wildflowers are now well into their spring routine and although I had hoped to show them as they bloom and spotlight each one, alas, I have fallen behind and must try to catch up in the next several posts by showing several at a time. This time of year, each hike uncovers several new blooms. It’s a wonderful time of year!

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow Grass, Whitlow Grass

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow Grass, Whitlow Grass, Draba Verna

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow Grass, Whitlow Grass

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow Grass, Whitlow Grass, Draba Verna

Desert Parsley, Suksdorf’s desert-parsley, (Lomatium suksdorfii)

Desert Parsley, Suksdorf’s desert-parsley, Lomatium suksdorfii

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet

Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtoothed Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

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43 Comments »

  1. Such graceful and pretty flowers..and it helps to have a great photographer..

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    Comment by Roberta — April 28, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

  2. Love that glacier lily, I like the flowers whose little heads are hanging down.

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    Comment by Candace — April 28, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    • I wonder if that isn’t a way for them to shelter the pollinators?

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  3. We don’t have any of these in New Hampshire. Or at least, I have SEEN any of them before.

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    Comment by jomegat — April 28, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    • The Arrow-leaf is found in only the 12 most western states, British Columbia and Alberta. Draba should be in your area, however it is very tiny and easily overlooked (blossoms about 1/8 inch across and low-growing). The Desert Parsley is strictly in the northwest. Glacier Lily only grows in 9 western states plus BC and AB. Possibly because of our late and cold springs we have here, some of the early bloomers are specially adapted to the climate.

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      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  4. It’s good to see that spring wildflowers have finally come to Montana! You must be thrilled after almost half a year of winter.

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    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 28, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  5. Those are beautiful as always…. the desert parsley looks really interesting.

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    Comment by TheDailyClick — April 29, 2012 @ 3:50 am

    • Yes, it’s interesting that it forms an array and that makes it quite distinctive.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

  6. The dog tooth violet is very pretty and it a different flower than the plant that I know by the same name.

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    Comment by kateri — April 29, 2012 @ 6:26 am

    • You must have the Erythronium americanum. USDA Plants uses Dogtooth Violet name for that one. I have a theory that as folks moved west they brought the flower names with them and tagged them on flowers that looked similar to the ones they knew back home. Makes using common names a little tricky.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  7. I’m especially pleased to see your desert parsley. I discovered Texas Prairie Parsley on my trip to Nash Prairie – it looks very much the same. I think the Whitlow grass is my favorite here – so unusual and graceful.

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    Comment by shoreacres — April 29, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    • The Whitlow grass is very plentiful, but also very tiny, less that 1/8 inch across the blossom. Lots of people step on them without knowing what they are or what they really look like.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  8. I absolutely know what you mean by trying to catch up. You have such beautiful flowers, so very delicate. I also notice, as you do, the bugs about the flowers. Sometimes I don’t see them until I get back and enlarge the photo.

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    Comment by Jack Matthews — April 29, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    • Catching up has suddenly gotten even more difficult. Lots of species have begun blooming now, some even earlier than usual. Very enjoyable time of the year though.

      I am sometimes surprised to see that I have caught a bug or two in a flower shot. Usually I try to get them when I can. They are a big part of the process I think. Wish I knew more about that!

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  9. Oh boy, the best time of the year. Montucky’s annual parade of wildflower macros begins!

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    Comment by Kim — April 29, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    • I almost fell as though the parade has started without me this year. The blossoms are coming fast now and I’m behind on posting and May is always a big month for the flowers.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

  10. This is an extraordinary series of the spring wildflower images. Our timing was off every time we were in Montana. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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    Comment by dhphotosite — April 29, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    • They are just getting started now. May is a big month for wildflowers here and so there will be many more soon. I have photos of about 12 that I haven’t yet posted.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  11. So beautiful, and beautifully photographed – the erythroniums are especially lovely.

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 29, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    • I like the Glacier Lilies too. They have many “hair” styles, different sizes, multiple blossoms on a stalk and they bloom i great numbers. At low elevations they are nearly through blooming, at high elevations they are just beginning.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  12. The Glacier Lily reminds me a gymnast … thanks for sharing your Spring flowers … you have so many varieties that we do not have here.

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    Comment by bearyweather — April 29, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    • There are a large number of species here. I hope to get a count on the number of species that I see in just this area as part of a project I’m working on. Lots of species that are strictly in the west and northwest. Makes sense I guess, with the climate/elevation combinations that we have here.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  13. I don’t know any of them, but very nice flowers and photos!

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    Comment by bentehaarstad — April 29, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

  14. Your avalance lily looks and behaves much like our trout lily (Erythronium americanum). I’ve never seen the balsamroot or desert parsley. The whitlow grass looks familiar, but the mustard family is so big, I’m not sure. It’s great to see what plants grow in Montana!

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 29, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    • I’ve never seen the trout lily except in photos, but it does look a lot like the avalanche lily. They must be closely related. I’m interested and puzzled at some of the similarities among flowers and why some grow in one place and others in other places when they are so similar.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      • Yes, both the avalanche and trout lily are in the Erythronium family so they are-cousins(?) I think we all wonder why flowers grow where they do. I don’t know if it really boils down to what bird dropped what seed where, or not.

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        Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 30, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  15. Ahh the glacier lily is delightful… oh to see some of those in the wild!!

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    Comment by kcjewel — April 29, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    • They are a delight! They are quite large for wildflowers and grow in large quantities and varieties of shapes. They also choose very pleasant locations in which to grow, among conifers and at the edges of meadows.

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      Comment by montucky — April 29, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  16. Yellow is becoming one of my favorite colors to photograph. These flowers will surely bring in many a pollinator.

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    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — April 30, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    • Yellow is the first of our wildflower colors, and then a few white ones show up. Yes, they have attracted a large array of insects, and I’m very pleased to see lots of homey bees this year. They have been at low ebb for the past several years.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 30, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  17. Hi Montucky, Nice series. I like that Glacier Lily. Spectacular for a wildflower. Have a super nice Tuesday tomorrow!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 30, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    • They are very showy, aren’t they! I love to see them in large groups as they are now!

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      Comment by montucky — April 30, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  18. You caught up a bit with your wildflowers with this post. Always enjoyable.

    Malcolm

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    Comment by knightofswords — April 30, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    • Just a bit. We just had a few days of warm weather and now there are many more in bloom.

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      Comment by montucky — April 30, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  19. Such great detail & composition, it looks like you could almost touch them. Very nice macro and angle shots!

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    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — May 1, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    • Thank you! Wildflowers are so pretty I just have to photograph them.

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      Comment by montucky — May 1, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  20. As always, I love gazing at your photographs. What a wonderful world we live in!

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 1, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    • It is indeed a wonderful place. There seems to be no end to its beauty.

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      Comment by montucky — May 1, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  21. Great. I do not know how to praise Your photos, but they are gorgeous. Among this series one is in Finland: Draba Verna. I think that I have not noticed it.

    Thank You again giving their names in Latin. It helps to find the Finnish name easily.

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — May 4, 2012 @ 3:52 am

    • I’m glad that you enjoy seeing the flowers Matti! I do try my best to identify them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2012 @ 9:48 pm


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