Montana Outdoors

April 12, 2015

Recent wildflower blooms

Despite the foibles of spring weather, our wildflowers are bound to begin their spring and summer cycle. Here are some of the newest:

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata


Pear blossom

Nineleaf Biscuitroot

Nineleaf Biscuitroot ~ Lomatium triternatum

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier ainifolia


Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium ~ Berberis aqufolium


  1. While growing up in Eddy, my mother and i picked the first flower you call a Shooting Star every spring. They grew like a carpet between the railroad tracks and highway. We always called them Johnny-Jump-Ups.Those and Blue and Yellow Bells are my all time favorites along with the beautiful Buttercups..And always for May-day at school we picked buckets full of the Dog Toothed Violets.I believe you call them Glacial Lily.These photos make me want to move back to Eddy to live again. Thanks for all you do for Montana Outdoors. I appreciate it.


    Comment by Frances Schenck — April 12, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

    • Hello, Frances. It’s good to hear from you again! I hope all is well with you!
      I live not far from Eddy (just a couple miles east of Weeksville) and I will try to remember to see, in the next few days, if those flowers are still growing there between the railroad and the highway. In many places like that the wildflowers that used to live there are gone now because of the of the weed spraying that has been done over the years.
      The blue bells in the photos a few days ago are growing up Ashley Creek out of Thompson Falls, and the Glacier Lily (or Dog Toothed Violet… my folks always called them that too) was not far up the trail at Munson Creek. (I will be going up there next week to see the trilliums that will be blooming there by then.) Many of the Yellow Bells have already turned red and are fading, but in some places there are still new ones coming up, and I saw some fresh buttercups today down by the river.
      You may have known some of my family from long ago. My grandparents were the Hicks who had a ranch just west of Plains, and an aunt and uncle were the Johnstons who also lived in the Plains area and in White Pine for awhile.
      I’m so glad that you enjoy seeing the wildflower photos. I know that many others do too and that is mainly why I photograph them and post the photos.


      Comment by montucky — April 12, 2015 @ 10:14 pm

  2. These are beautiful, flowers and photos. What an amazing world we live in …


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 12, 2015 @ 9:27 pm

    • It is indeed an amazing world, and I think that the wildflowers illustrate that about as well as anything does. There is so much beauty and diversity in them and there is a flower of some fashion growing in every altitude, ecology and climate that I’ve ever encountered. They make a special connection to the Earth for me that nothing else ever does.


      Comment by montucky — April 12, 2015 @ 9:59 pm

  3. Those ‘shooting stars’ are unreal in their beauty. I love all the other blossoms, too. There are plenty of flowers coming out around us, finally – although we’ve had snow storms on and off for days.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 13, 2015 @ 3:07 am

    • Isn’t it great to have the new flowers appearing? It’s a highlight of every year. There was a little snow in the air here yesterday too, and a hundred miles south of here they have about 4 inches of new snow.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 9:09 am

  4. Beautifully photographed! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous spring flowers with us. The shooting star is quite unusual.


    Comment by Jane — April 13, 2015 @ 4:02 am

    • Thanks Jane. It’s exciting to again see the various wildflower species start to bloom. The shooting star was one of several favorites I had when I was a kid, and always part of the wildflower bouquets that my Mom received every spring

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 9:11 am

  5. Many of these I’ve never seen and probably never will, but that doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful. it looks like your spring is in full swing. Ours has barely started. Skunk cabbage is the only truly wild flower that I’ve seen so far.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 13, 2015 @ 6:13 am

    • Last a friend told me that there is a species of skunk cabbage that grows here, but I’ve never been able to find one. They fascinate me.


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 9:13 am

      • Yes, there is a western variety called Lysichiton americanus that is much prettier than ours, but it appears to grow in the same low, swampy places.


        Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 13, 2015 @ 10:05 am

        • I will watch for that. I see it has been found in a county just northeast of this one.


          Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

  6. There it is! My flower-with-a-favorite-name: the Kinnikinnik! I know you’ve posted about serviceberry before, but I don’t remember seeing the blossoms. They’re lovely, and so pleasing to someone who loves white flowers as I do.

    When I saw “Saskatoon,” of course I thought about Saskatchewan. I did a little exploring, and found this interesting and pathetic article about Cornell University working to change the name here in the U.S. The reason? “‘Saskatoon’ is cited as being too difficult for some Americans to pronounce and spell.” Good grief. “Saskatchewan,” maybe. But “Saskatoon”? We may be further gone than I thought.


    Comment by shoreacres — April 13, 2015 @ 6:26 am

    • Kinnikinnik has always caught my fancy too, ever since my Dad pointed it out to me when I hunted with him in the fall.
      Yes, we may be further gone that we thought. I suppose Cornell will now want to shorten all words to four letters to keep up with the mental capacity of their faculty. Well, here Saskatoons are not a commercial crop, they are wild, and people here will not be doing any name changes on them, although they are most usually called “Serviceberries”. It’s interesting to see how the common names of plants vary from location to location and from place to place. Arbitrary changes like the one Cornell wants to make tend to make us lose some of our heritage and tradition, don’t they!


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 9:22 am

  7. Great shots of many that we don’t see in Ohio!


    Comment by centralohionature — April 13, 2015 @ 7:05 am

    • That’s something I love about blogs. They enable us to see beautiful things that exist in other areas that we would otherwise not get to see!


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 9:23 am

  8. so lovely to see your flowers
    it is as though you are in our future 😉


    Comment by Tammie — April 13, 2015 @ 2:24 pm

    • I guess we are just a little ahead of your area, aren’t we. I sure envy the snow that you’ve had this year though!


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

  9. The location in Eddy where the Johnny-Jump-Ups was just past the main crossing there where people live across the tracks. At that time the railroad put a fire-guard along the track across the track from the highway. I’m told they now put it between the track and highway. That may have done them in for blooming.The Dog-Toothed-violets bloomed all over the hills there in Eddy.My dad Bill Jacks was section foreman in Eddy for 14 years and we moved in 1957.For years i have wanted to return and live in Eddy.It was so peaceful and open.There is a waterfall coming down the mountain just west of Eddy. We could hear it on quiet summer evenings sitting out on the front porch.Thanks again for all the beautiful photos..


    Comment by Frances Schenck — April 13, 2015 @ 2:35 pm

  10. Spring must be here! Beautiful photos.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 13, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

  11. Wonderful photos from flowers. Quite many were unknown to me. My favorite among them was Shooting Star.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 16, 2015 @ 2:01 am

    • Happily, these are just the beginning of our wildflower season here!


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2015 @ 8:25 am

  12. Lovely images (and I’ll have to bookmark this post as you’ve identified a couple of flowers for me.

    Don’t you just love Spring.


    Comment by Vicki — April 16, 2015 @ 3:59 am

    • Yes, I do love spring. It’s such a nice reward following winter.
      It’s interesting that you see come of the same flowers there!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2015 @ 8:26 am

      • The Mahonia (or Oregan Grape) was probably the 2nd flower I photographed back in 2010 when I only had a P & S. I made Christmas cards out of the image that year.


        Comment by Vicki — April 17, 2015 @ 1:48 am

        • They are really very pretty blossoms. Those starting to bloom here now look rather ratty because they and everything else is so dry. Maybe when I see some at higher elevations they will be better.


          Comment by montucky — April 17, 2015 @ 7:59 am

  13. The Shooting Stars are so cool. The Kinnikinnik looks like a succulent, is it?


    Comment by Candace — April 17, 2015 @ 6:31 pm

    • Kinnikinnik Is actually an evergreen shrub in the Heath family. It think they are also native to northern Arizona too.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2015 @ 7:16 pm

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