While exploring Glacier NP, I found a lot of different wildflowers that were blooming. I’m still trying to identify some of them, but some were wildflowers that grow back home (Missouri) and some were pretty easy to identify. Today’s post features a few of the wildflowers that I have an identification for.
I was quite surprised to find that Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.) grows at these high altitudes. Since they grow so profusely on the midwest prairies, I was not prepared to find them growing on the mountain tops, but sure enjoyed them:
Fun facts about the Indian Paintbrush: This wildflower has a unique legend. According to the Native Americans, long ago a young warrior tried to paint the sunset with his warpaints. But nature’s gorgeous colors were too much for him to match, so he asked The Great Spirit for help. The Great Spirit endowed him with paintbrushes that matched the colors he needed. The young warrior then painted his sunsets and left his used brushes across the mountain meadows.
Another beauty that I almost overlooked was the Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha):
Fun facts about the Yellow Columbine: Native Americans used miniscule amounts of the root as a treatment for ulcers–however, it is highly toxic and consumption can be fatal.
One of my favorites was the Glacier Lilly (Erythronium gradiflorum):
Fun facts about the Glacier Lily: Glacier Lilies provide food for much of the park’s wildlife. Deer, mountain goat, elk, and grizzly bears eat the bulbs while ground squirrels store them for the harsh winter ahead. Native American tribes also ate them, boiling or drying them out to save for winter meals.
As you can see, things were just “bloomin’ pertty” in Glacier! More wildflowers to come. :o)