Montana Outdoors

May 20, 2018


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:18 pm

Sascatoon, Western Serviceberry

Saskatoons, Western Service berries

Saskatoon, Western Serviceberry ~ amelanchier alnifolia

These blossoms are among my favorites for three reasons. They are pretty in their own right, the shrubs get up to 15 feet tall and decorate the spring landscape with large splashes of white in the spring, and the berries are my favorite of all the wild berries (despite containing a lot of small seeds).

The plump purple berries have a light taste, but at their peak of ripeness they are sweet and juicy with a taste that is unexplainably pleasant. The locals here call them Service Berries and pronounce it “Sarvice Berries” for some reason I never did understand. The best way to eat them is not one berry at a time, but to pick a whole big handful and pop them in your mouth all at once. You will experience a big rush of their unique flavor and juicy sweetness.

May 11, 2014

Early May wildflowers.

In spite of a cold spring and below normal rainfall here in western Montana, the wildflowers are blooming, but about two weeks later than usual. This morning there was fresh snow on the mountainsides a thousand feet above the valley floor.

Western Gromwell, Lemonweed

Western Gromwell, Lemonweed ~ Lithospermum ruderale

Western Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Western Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier alnifolia

Field Pepperweed, Field Peppergrass or Pepperwort, Field Cress

Field Pepperweed, Field Peppergrass or Pepperwort, Field Cress ~ Lepidium campestre

Fairy Slipper, Calypso orchid

Fairy Slipper, Calypso orchid ~ Calypso bulbosa

Marsh Valerian, Northern Valerian

Marsh Valerian, Northern Valerian ~ Valeriana dioica

Hooker Fairy-bells

Hooker Fairy-bells ~ Prosartes hookeri


Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Black Hawthorn

Black Hawthorn ~ Crataegus douglasii

Holboell's rockcress

Holboell’s rockcress ~ Boechera pendulocarpa

Menzies' fiddleneck

Menzies’ fiddleneck ~ Amsinckia menziesii

Meadow death-camas

Meadow death-camas ~ Toxicoscordion venenosum

Large-flowered Tritelia

Large-flowered Tritelia ~ Triteleia grandiflora

May 8, 2009

Saskatoon serviceberry

Besides all of the different looks to these blossoms they have a special significance to me: in a month or so they will turn into one of my favorite berries. Many times over the years, while on long hikes in the mountains, they have provided delicious meals on the trail. They are large, plentiful and wonderful tasting. Unlike with other berries which one might eat one at a time, the proper way to eat Serviceberries is to put a whole handful into your mouth at once and it will completely flood your mouth with flavor.

Saskatoon serviceberry

Saskatoon serviceberry

Saskatoon serviceberry

Saskatoon serviceberry

Saskatoon serviceberryy

Saskatoon serviceberry, Western serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia
Rose family

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