Montana Outdoors

September 15, 2012

Evans Lake (3) – The Flowers

Somewhat unusual for that part of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in summer, there were only a few flowers in bloom, perhaps because of the hot, dry conditions this summer.


Indian-Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, a Saprophytic perennial


In a comment, I mentioned the thought that due to the rather mysterious aura of the Indian Pipes, there must be some Indian legends about them. Linda from The Task at Hand has given me permission to include the following legend which she received from a friend:

“According to legend, a long time ago, before selfishness came into the world, the Cherokee people were happy sharing the hunting and fishing places with their neighbors. All this changed when Selfishness came into the world and man began to quarrel. The Cherokee Indians quarreled with tribes on the east. Finally the chiefs of several tribes met in council to try to settle the dispute. They smoked the pipe and continued to quarrel for seven days and seven nights. This displeased the Great Spirit because people are not supposed to smoke the pipe until they make peace. As he looked upon the old men with heads bowed, he decided to do something to remind people to smoke the pipe only at the time they make peace.

The Great Spirit turned the old men into greyish flowers now called ~Indian Pipes~ and he made them grow where friends and relatives had quarreled. He made the smoke hang over these mountains until all the people all over the world learn to live together in peace.”

Thanks Linda!

Western Rattlesnake Plantain

Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera oblongifolia, an Orchid

Indian Hellebore

Indian Hellebore, Veratrum viride, a member of the Lily family

Scouler's St. Johnswort, Norton's St. Johnswort

Scouler's St. Johnswort, Norton's St. Johnswort

Scouler’s St. Johnswort, Norton’s St. Johnswort, Hypericum scouleri


Self-Heal, Prunella vulgaris, Mint family

Hooded Ladies'-tresses

Hooded Ladies'-tresses

Hooded Ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes romanzoffiana, an Orchid

September 14, 2011

Wildflowers at Blossom Lake

(These photos were taken during a hike to Blossom Lake in the Evans Gulch roadless area in western Montana on August 31, 2011. Though late in the year, there are still several species of wildflowers in full bloom there.)

Subalpine Spirea

Subalpine Spirea

Subalpine Spirea ~ Spiraea densiflora

Scouler's St. Johnswort, Norton's St. Johnswort

Scouler's St. Johnswort, Norton's St. Johnswort

Scouler’s St. Johnswort, Norton’s St. Johnswort ~ Hypericum scouleri



Pinedrops ~ Pterospora andromedea (Saprophytic perennial)

Pinedrops are saprophytic perennials with unbranched flowering stems, fleshy at flowering, then turning fibrous and persisting as dried stems for over a year. (Saprophytes do not have green leaves or contain chlorophyll and cannot manufacture their own food and therefore do not depend on the sun. Instead, they obtain their food from decaying material in the litter and humus and are usually found in the deep shade of mature coniferous forests.)

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