Montana Outdoors

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.)

July 19, 2009

Evans Gulch roadless area; the flowers.

Perhaps these Subalpine Spirea which grow along its shore right up to the water had something to do with giving Blossom Lake its name.

Subalpine spirea, Rose meadowsweet

Subalpine Spirea, Rose Meadowsweet
Spiraea splendens

Two inches above the sand and about the same distance from the water, these tiny white violets were in full bloom.

Small white violet

Small White Violet
Viola macloskeyi

Along the trail, not far from the trail head, these Pink Wintergreens were blooming in large numbers.

Pink Wintergreen

Pink Wintergreen,
Pyrola asarifolia

Although they finished blooming at lower elevations over a month ago, the Springbeauties were in bloom along the trail.

Alpine Springbeauty

Alpine Springbeauty
Claytonia megarhiza

Another pretty flower, the Jacob’s Ladder, concluded its blooming season two months ago in the valleys, but was flowering in abundance along the trail near the lake.

Showy Jacob's Ladder

Showy Jacob’s Ladder,
Polemonium pulcherrimum

The tiny (1/8 inch) blossoms of the Foamflower which are suspended in big groups on its 6-inch stalks do present the look of ocean foam dancing on the sea of green in little patches of the hillside.

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower,
Tiarella unifoliata

Come to think of it, maybe more than the Spirea had an influence on the naming of Blossom Lake.

(Evans Gulch roadless area is only about 8,000 acres and is located in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana.)

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