Montana Outdoors

April 27, 2014

A short hike today on Spring Creek trail

Spring Creek trail

Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, Yellow Avalanche Lily

Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, Yellow Avalanche Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

Spring Creek trail

Small Bluebells

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Mixed lichens and moss

It was still quite cold in the Spring Creek canyon today with patches of snow remaining in the heavier brush off to the sides of the trail and the wildflowers this year are blooming two to three weeks later than most years, but it was so nice to be hiking on a back-country trail again. Although I can’t hike all of this trail today, I will later and it leads into the TeePee/Spring Creek roadless area where the headwaters of the creek form on the southern slope of Big Hole Peak.

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April 13, 2010

Yellow Glacier Lily

Bears are rather fond of the bulbs of these plants and if one doesn’t come by, dig up and eat its bulb, the bud in my previous post will in a few days look like the flowers in the following photos.

While walking up a Forest Service road yesterday I came across the bud standing all alone on the hillside above the road. Another mile and a half up the canyon on the point of a small ridge that had a good southern exposure and therefore access to all of the available sun, these were in full early bloom. Later, Glacier Lilies will be very numerous in many areas of the forests of western Montana.

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

This particular species is native to nine of the far western states, but I see that they have relatives living in nearly all of the rest of the US as well. It seems that giving this plant its common name is a popular pastime and they have a number of common names including Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, and Yellow Avalanche Lily; species name, Erythronium grandiflorum. For over sixty years I have heard them locally called “Dogtoothed Violets” which is not the correct name for this species, but is the name for the species Erythronium americanum which is native to the eastern half of the US.

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