Montana Outdoors

May 15, 2012

Wildflowers, mid-May

This is the time, if you love wildflowers, when you just can’t get out often enough. I wish now that I could be several places at the same time but I will be content for the time being and hope for more outings throughout the summer.




Kinnikinnik, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, May 2



Unidentified, May 5


 Western Stickseed, Lappula redowskii, May 7

Small tumblemustard, false London Rocket

Small tumblemustard, false London Rocket, Sisymbrium loeselii, May 13


  1. Beautiful – the pale mauve flowers are just exquisite. I hope you manage to identify them!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 16, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    • I have thought they were too. I’ve seen them in only a couple places and have tried for several years now to identify them. I’ve seen them only in wild places and so I don’t suspect them to be domestic flowers .


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

      • I can only think they are perhaps a kind of Phlox. The colour is lovely!


        Comment by Jo Woolf — May 17, 2012 @ 12:25 am

  2. Those little bunches of kinnikinnik are beautiful examples of nature at its best. I Love them. Little jars of nectar. I’m fascinated by them.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 16, 2012 @ 6:40 am

    • They caught my fancy when I was just a child and my Dad pointed them out to me. The bright red berries have little taste but they are nourishing and the Indians had all kinds of used for them. I’ve seen grouse eat them and I know that most other wildlife does too. They are plentiful enough too that they are a good back-up food source for lots of us critters.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  3. More of nature’s beauty! I always enjoy seeing what surrounds you…


    Comment by Roberta — May 16, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    • There is a lot of beauty out in the forests Roberta! It provides a refreshing contrast to the headlines.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  4. The Kinnikinnik are just darling!! So dainty looking!


    Comment by allbymyself09 — May 16, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    • Those blossoms are quite small, but I just love them and also love knowing that by the end of summer there will be bright red berries that can be eaten by all of the wildlife.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  5. Those Kinnikinnik are beautiful – but what a name! I’ve never heard the word, but have discovered it can refer to the plant, baking products, smoking products, a school district in Illinois – obviously I’m behind the curve! Is this the plant that’s cured for the tobacco mix? Kinnikinnick is almost as good as tumblemustard or false London Rocket!


    Comment by shoreacres — May 16, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    • The name comes from an eastern aboriginal word meaning “mixture” and the name was brought to the west by fur company employees. Most of the native people of the Interior Northwest smoked kinnikinnik and they also made tea from the leaves and prepared the berries in many different ways for food. If I were to use them as a staple in my diet I would find a way to prepare them to add taste; they are very tasteless but still, eaten by almost all of the wildlife species.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  6. I love the name of that first one. The rest I don’t know. They are really pretty, though.


    Comment by sandy — May 16, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    • I love the name too. It caught my fancy when I was a child and I was very proud when I was finally able to pronounce it.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  7. I’ve never seen any flowers quite like those first ones. They’re very interesting. I like that about them.


    Comment by Ratty — May 16, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    • They are interesting plants and a plant that is easy to identify, with the bright green leathery leaves and bright red berries or the interesting blossoms.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  8. I think I like the way “kinnikinnik” sounds as much as I like the way it looks. 😀


    Comment by jomegat — May 16, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    • I’ve always liked that name and clearly remember learning about it when I was a small child. The name is often spelled “kinnikinnick”, but I’ve always know it spelled without the c. I has a special meaning to me too because it never fails to bring back memories of hunting with my Dad.


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  9. I agree, the kinnikinnik are so dainty and pretty with such a cool name.


    Comment by Candace — May 16, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    • Somehow it has always seemed to me that the strange name was an exact fit for the plant!


      Comment by montucky — May 16, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  10. All these flowers are great as Your photos naturally. What comes to three first macros, they are gorgeous. Again great series which I do love.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 17, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  11. I was researching another plant last year and ran into Kinnikinnik, which I had never heard of. It’s an interesting plant-I like the flowers.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 18, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    • Yes, a very interesting plant. The Indians had many uses for it and the wildlife all feed on it at some time. It’s a very attractive ground cover on some of the more open mountainsides and seems to do well at most elevations.


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  12. Well done! You have been finding some wonderful shots in your travels!


    Comment by dhphotosite — May 18, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    • There is a wealth of wildflowers in this area. The trick is to be out in the forests and mountains often enough to catch most of them when they are blooming.


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  13. The leaves of the kinnikinnik must be tasty, as all three shots have munches out of the leaves!

    Is the un-ID called “Bluet”? (And didn’t you post photos of the same mystery plant last year, and we had this same discussion then, too? A whole year and we still are no closer to IDing it.)


    Comment by Kim — May 18, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    • Yes, everybody likes to munch on kinnikinnik! Yes, I’ve posted photos of it before and have been trying off and on to identify it for several years. I’m not familiar with the Bluets, but the ones I found on USDA Plants website don’t match them.


      Comment by montucky — May 18, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

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