Montana Outdoors

June 20, 2018

Bear grass

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:54 pm

Bear-grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Bear Grass & Buster

Bear grass ~ xerophyllum tenax

Bear-grass is one of the largest of the wildflowers in this region and when they are in full bloom they create quite a scene, covering clearings in the forest at elevations between about 5,000 feet to 6,000 feet.

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49 Comments »

  1. Many Glacier bellmen used to tell guests that while bears don’t eat beargrass, they dry their paws on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — June 20, 2018 @ 8:58 pm

    • That was in the old days before bears started wearing Gore-tex boots 😉.
      Each of those tall stalks comes from a single plant which had a very large clump of ever green, coarse grass. In the times when they aren’t putting up those stalks I’ve found areas thick with the grass clumps and spent many comfortable nights sleeping on them.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by montucky — June 20, 2018 @ 9:12 pm

  2. The flowers are amazing. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by llzranch — June 20, 2018 @ 9:05 pm

    • Yes, they are amazing. I’ve seen them as tall as five feet at times. This is a good year for them as you can see. In the region where these pictures were taken there are a lot of clearings and they fill all of them for miles in every direction.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 20, 2018 @ 9:19 pm

  3. So unique

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by lmachayes — June 20, 2018 @ 9:06 pm

    • There’s nothing quite like them anywhere in this region. I always make a point of visiting these places every year when they are in bloom, just to wander around and enjoy the sight.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 20, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

  4. Great picture of your dog with that beautiful backdrop of bear grass.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — June 20, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

  5. We love bear grass, one of our favorites.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by derwoodynck — June 20, 2018 @ 9:16 pm

    • I think it is a favorite of anyone who has seen it bloom like that. It’s been a favorite of mine for over 70 years.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 20, 2018 @ 9:25 pm

  6. Boy, there are so many fascinating plants that are completely new to me! This is another one I’ve never seen, or even anything like it. It’s lovely! Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candice — June 20, 2018 @ 9:38 pm

    • I’m glad that you liked seeing it! It is a higher elevation plant native to California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming in the US and Alberta and British Columbia in Canada. It seems to do best in areas where there is deep winter snow.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 20, 2018 @ 9:53 pm

  7. Wow! What a glorious sight and your canine companion (forgotten his name) looks to be thoroughly enjoying the rest and scenery too.
    I’d love to be standing in that field of white and green. I guess its the contrast with the large white flowers sitting on a seas of green grass that makes the vision so dazzling.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — June 20, 2018 @ 11:50 pm

    • I wish you could see them for yourself Vicki. The forest is beautiful this time of year anyway and they make it spectacular.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2018 @ 9:46 am

  8. Fantastic looking plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by David A Lockwood — June 20, 2018 @ 11:51 pm

  9. how strange these flowers are. Thank you for these nice details and photographs
    A caress to the dog

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Yoshimiparis Photographie — June 21, 2018 @ 12:05 am

    • They live in their own world, but do very well in their chosen places. No other flowers in this area bloom in such large numbers or cover so much territory. Buster says “thank you”.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2018 @ 9:52 am

  10. One of my favourites, the Bear grass.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hanna — June 21, 2018 @ 3:49 am

  11. Looks like a bumper crop in that clearing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — June 21, 2018 @ 8:33 am

    • It indeed a bumper crop this year. Each plant flowers only every 5 to 10 years, so you can imagine how many plants there are in that area.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2018 @ 9:55 am

  12. Wow, so prolific! We traveled throughout Washington and Oregon when we lived out there, but I don’t remember ever seeing bear grass.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 21, 2018 @ 11:42 am

    • They bloom only about this time in June and only at higher elevations in clearing in the forests. Maybe that’s why you missed them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2018 @ 2:25 pm

  13. Well isn’t that neat looking! Great pictures

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by M.B. Henry — June 21, 2018 @ 3:41 pm

  14. That’s amazing! They’re pretty flowers on a strangely shaped flower head.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — June 21, 2018 @ 3:46 pm

    • At a glance they look more like a big club than a flower and their stalks are thick and woody. After the flower petals fall, the stalks remain until heavy winter snow snaps them off, a high wind comes along or passing wildlife breaks them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 21, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

  15. We were in Montana, in Glacier National Park, a little over a week ago and saw this blooming. I didn’t know what it was, but took photos. It was really beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Rebecca — June 21, 2018 @ 6:37 pm

  16. No words to describe the beauty …

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sally — June 22, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

  17. I love when you post beargrass! They look like they’re out of a fantasy world. And Buster is a handsome boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — June 22, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

    • They sure set the tone of the forest when they are in bloom. Buster is a very happy dog. There’s nothing that he loves more than being on a trail somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 22, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

  18. I always look forward to seeing these beauties. What fun to have Buster included this time — he certainly does look like he’s enjoying himself. Do these bloom from the top down, or from the bottom up? This time, they reminded me of the death camas in its just-opening stage. That’s a confusion you wouldn’t want to make!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — June 23, 2018 @ 6:27 am

    • The flower buds form around 6 inches from the top of the stalk, and then the blossoms open from the bottom of that to the top.There’s really no way for anyone to confuse these with death camas because bear grass is about twelve times the height. The plant is poisonous too, but I’ve never read about any effects from it. It’s the only evergreen member of the lily family in this region.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 23, 2018 @ 10:44 am

  19. A real eye catcher 😃 And that is one very happy pooch!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — June 25, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

    • Yes, Buster would rather hike in the back country than eat. He and I are a perfect pair: we both love the same things. He’s the best (and happiest) trail dog that I’ve ever seen.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 25, 2018 @ 2:10 pm

  20. I was excited to see what Bear Grass was when you mentioned it in your last post, pretty amazing! Buster’s capture is awesome, he looks like he’s having a great time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — June 25, 2018 @ 7:01 pm

    • The Bear grass bloom is a big event; it’s like a celebration of spring in the high forest.
      Buster is a very happy dog. I found him two years ago in a Humane Society north of Kalispell and he has been right by my side every since. He took to the back country immediately and just loves it when I say the word “hike”. We’ve hiked together over three thousand miles now.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 25, 2018 @ 7:58 pm


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