Montana Outdoors

April 23, 2010

Two Sunflowers

About four posts ago I posted a photo of one sunflower variety just budding out. (Mule-ears, named for the shape of their leaves.) Here it is in full bloom:

Mule-earsMule-ears, Wyethia amplexicaulis

Although they are not as plentiful as usual because of the drought, The Arrowleaf are now in full bloom. They are perhaps the largest of our wildflowers here and really brighten up the hillsides where they grow. (They are also named for the shape of their leaves.)

Arrowleaf BalsamrootArrowleaf Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata

April 17, 2010

Other early blooms

It has been dry and rather cold this spring in this region and the regular bloom times for wildflowers seems to be greatly disrupted. Some are scarce and I’m afraid some will not bloom at all this year. There is practically no moisture in the soil. Here are a few that I’ve seen in the past few days and their populations are very low.

Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary~ Small-flowered Blue-Eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora, figwort family ~

Wayside gromwell~ Wayside gromwell, Lemonweed, Lithospermum ruderale, borage family ~

Western stickseed~ Western stickseed, Lappula redowskii, borage family ~

 Narrow-leaved Desert Parsley~ Narrow-leaved Desert Parsley, Lomatium triternatum, Cous, carrot family ~

Mule-ears~ Mule-ears, Wyethia amplexicaulis, aster family ~
(In a few days, this will look like a medium-size sunflower)

Wild strawberry~ Wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana, rose family ~

May 7, 2009


Filed under: Flowers, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 7:49 am

Just in the past few days, Mule-ears have started to bloom and soon will cover entire hillsides. They have fairly large blossoms which at first glance look a bit like Arrowleaf Balsamroot, but they are actually a member of the Aster family. Their name comes from the shape of their leaves.





Wyethia amplexicaulis, Aster family

(Yeah, I know: I got a little carried away with these.)

May 9, 2008


During a hike up into Munson Creek that took most of the day today and stopped at the 3,800 foot level because of heavy snow on the trail, I was intrigued by some large areas of leaves that looked as though they belonged to huge violets. There were a number of buds among them that were clearly not those of violets (much too large) but no full blossoms. On my return, at a quarter of a mile from the trail head a heavy storm suddenly swept in consisting of hail and rain both, and then, as luck would have it, there was one in full bloom. One more photo taken from under a small umbrella that’s always in a pocket of my pack for such occasions.


Mule-ears, Wyethia amplexicaulis, (Sunflower family), are found only in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. This blossom is about 3 inches across.


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