I recently purchased another wildflower book aptly titled Wildflowers Montana by Donald Anthony Schiemann. This wildflower book covers 350 species that grow in Montana. The photos are large enough to make reasonable identification of a new wildflower a joy instead of a headache. The photos are also tagged with were they taken. Without a doubt the BEST wildflower book that I have come across, especially for Montana. It's nice to see that a much more academically trained writer & photographer describing flowering times based on time since snow melted! With the extremely short Alpine hiking season this year in Glacier National Park I will be taking wildflower pictures this summer but not updating this site until fall of 2011. According to Donald Schiemann the Alpine zone for Glacier National Park starts at 7,000 feet instead of 9,000 feet in Yellowstone National Park. Which puts the lower glacier lily meadows at Logan Pass in the sub alpine zone.
2011 the wildflower season was off to a very late start. I will be keeping notes and posting updates with new flowers and blooming times. The shortness of the season along with the abundance of moisture is going to make some interesting mid season displays. Remember it's still winter like conditions with up to 8 feet or more at the mid level elevations. 7-1-11 It was raining hard when I was last in St Mary I elected to go on the Two Medicine Lake which at the time 6-24-11 had small patches of glacier lilies along the entrance road.
Glacier Lilies were making a strong showing along The Going To The Sun Road, on the east side as of 6-6-11. Glacier Lilies were making a weak appearance in the Two Medicine area as of 6-24-11. Bear Grass is blooming on the Rocky Point Trail in Glacier Park as of 6-23-11. Bear Grass is blooming along Camus Road as of 6-28-11.
Most Montana Wildflowers are perennial herbaceous plants. Conditions for any living thing in Montana are tough, summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees, winter temperatures can drop as low as minus fifty degrees. Cycles of drought and flood are common, many of these photos were taken in areas that the snow doesn't melt off until late July and will start up again in early October.
Photos and information regarding wildflowers growing in Montana will be updated as the photos become available. Unlike the companion site www.birdsmontana.com were links to all birds that I have photographed in Montana will appear on the home page, on this site for the sake of my sanity and for the ease of visitors to find a photo of a particular wildflower, or to identify a wildflower that they saw while visiting Montana, the site will be divided up by primary wildflower colors. This is going to take some time and will grow slowly.
Wildflowers in Montana follow the melting snow, a lesson I relearn each summer.
Wildflower red paint brush on the Danny On Trail, Big Mountain, Whitefish, Montana.
Bear Grass, appears above under white wildflowers, although Bear Grass will be green and alive every year, Bear Grass blooms every five to ten years. Luckily for us the blooming cycle is not simultaneous for the whole state. Depending on weather conditions bear grass will be blooming somewhere every year in Montana. The last large bloom of bear grass on the Highline Trail in Glacier Park occurred in 2005. Bear Grass during major bloom years dominates the landscape. Bear Grass has started to bloom in lower elevations within Glacier National Park. The first I encountered were around mid June 2011. No large displays as of yet but this year bloom times will be in August for the higher elevations.
Blue Camas one of the early blooming wildflowers in Montana.