Montana Outdoors

June 6, 2017

Bear Grass putting on a show

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 6:23 pm

After seeing the Bear Grass starting to bloom a few days ago in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains I checked a favorite place about forty miles north of there on Mount Baldy in the Cabinet Mountains and found them blooming in profusion between 4,000 feet and 4,300 feet (their bloom will continue into higher elevations up to about 6,000 feet). Here’s what that looks like:

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass ~ Xerophyllum tenax

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27 Comments »

  1. I almost thought I saw some yesterday driving from Payson to Woods Canyon Lake but it wasn’t a place I could pull over.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — June 6, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

    • If there is any in Arizona, it would probably be in that area, or in the Young area.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 6, 2017 @ 7:38 pm

  2. What a beautiful sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — June 6, 2017 @ 6:56 pm

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    WOW—HADN’T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE! AND HOW DO THE BEARS LIKE IT? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jonathan Caswell — June 6, 2017 @ 7:18 pm

    • Thank you Jonathan! This grows only in 6 far western states plus British Columbia and Alberta. It doesn’t bloom in such profusion every year and so I cherish the years when it does. Supposedly bears will eat the fleshy area near the roots and therefore the name, but I have seen huge areas of it in places that have a large bear population without seeing any signs of them using it for forage. However, in one other place I saw about 50 plants on the mountainside that clearly had been torn up around the base. I would conclude that bears do eat it, but it’s probably not near the top of their favorite food plants and if other food is plentiful they might just ignore it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 6, 2017 @ 7:47 pm

      • I was pondering that…maybe the puffs looked like a bear—at least on one end! Thank you for this info—never heard of this before. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Jonathan Caswell — June 6, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

  4. Extremely lovely and beautiful. CONGRATS.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by nvsubbaraman — June 6, 2017 @ 8:54 pm

  5. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Harold Rhenisch — June 6, 2017 @ 9:24 pm

  6. Wow. Awesome. I have never seen them. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — June 7, 2017 @ 2:03 am

    • They have a limited distribution and live at an altitude that is above the well-travelled valleys, so not everyone sees them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2017 @ 7:15 am

  7. I’ve never seen these either. From a distance, they look like cotton balls.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 7, 2017 @ 6:54 am

    • They do, especially in the sun when the blossoms look pure white.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2017 @ 7:16 am

  8. In a way they remind me of the cotton grass that we see here in swamps and bogs. They’re quite a sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — June 7, 2017 @ 3:16 pm

    • I haven’t seen your cotton grass, but there is one here somewhere called that but I haven’t found one. From a photo I saw, it’s quite small.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2017 @ 6:08 pm

  9. Why do they call it bear grass?

    Like

    Comment by windyhillx — June 7, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

    • It got its name because some folks think that bears will eat the fleshy part near the roots in spring. From my observations, I would think that they do eat it, but it is not at the top of their list to eat. If nothing else can be found…

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

  10. Strangely, today they reminded me of the macro photos of moss and algae that I sometimes see, with the little heads at the end of filaments. I see what you mean about the way they can be spotted deep into the woods. They’re large enough and bright enough to make their presence known.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — June 8, 2017 @ 5:26 am

    • Each living thing has its own survival strategy. This one’s seems to work very well. Something interesting I see along with them is the presence of little crab spiders, but I don’t know what their relationship is.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2017 @ 6:43 am

  11. Fabulous .. putting on a show alright! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — June 10, 2017 @ 2:24 pm

    • It’s an annual celebration and I wouldn’t want to miss it. Unfortunately, because it happens up in the mountains a bit, most folks do miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2017 @ 7:38 pm

  12. So beautiful! Looks like a magical forest against all that lush green and blue sky. I enjoy your trails and wildflowers. 🍃

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sandy A. — June 25, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

    • They do lend a magical look to the forest. I’m glad that you enjoy the photos!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 25, 2017 @ 12:36 pm


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