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0MONKSHOOD The white to purple, hoodlike flowers make this an unusual and easily recognizable plant. The flowers are arranged in loose racemes on tall, stout stems, two to five feet tall. The five sepals, resembling petals-the petals actually are hidden within the flower or they are mere vestiges-are colorful, and the upper sepal forms a monk's hood, as worn by medieval monks. The leaves are large, two to eight inches wide, and palmately three- to five-lobed with lance-shaped teeth. HABITAT/RANGE: Monkshood is a dweller of moist woods and stream banks to subalpine meadows. Widely distributed from Alaska to Alberta, south to New Mexico and California, it blooms from early June until late July. FACTS/USES: This plant is considered poisonous to wildlife but it seldom is consumed in enough quantity to cause serious harm. The poisonous toxin is aconite.

 

0BANEBERRY Actaea rubra This erect, leafy, perennial herb arises one to three feet from a thick, branching rootstock. The large leaves are pinnately divided, mostly into threes, with each leaflet sharply toothed. Tiny whitish or cream-colored flowers are arranged in a terminal raceme. The petallike sepals (petals are smaller and inconspicuous) are short-lived and drop off soon after flowering. The ovary matures to a berry that contains several large seeds. When ripe, the berries vary in colorfrom white to red- or the two colors swirled together. HABITAT/RANGE: Baneberry prefers moist sites along streams, especially in shaded woods. It is distributed widely from Alaska across Canada and the northern United States, south to New Mexico and California. Blooms from May to July. FACTS/USES: The specific name means sharp-toothed. The moderately poisonous berries can cause cardiac arrest.

"The Essenstials for Planning your
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0CLIFF ANEMONE Anemone multifida Cliff anemone is a herbaceous perennial ascending from thick, woody taproots year after year. The five to nine sepals are colorful, ranging from cream to deep rose-pink or red to purple. One to three flowers usually are borne at the end of an eight- to 20-inch silky-hairy stem. The leaves generally are basal on long petioles or they form a dense involucre on the flowering stem. Each leaf is divided into three or more long, linear, lanceolate lobes. The seed heads are conspicuous globe-shaped cotton balls, composed of acenes that form dense white-woolly cotton. HABITAT/RANGE: Found on a wide range of habitats from foothills to alpine, it prefers dry to moist soils and sunny sites. It can be abundant locally when it flowers during midsummer and is well-distributed from Alaska across southern Canada and south to New Mexico, California and even into South America. FACTS/USES: The specific name means parted many times.

 

0PASQUEFLOWER Anemone nuttalliana Pasqueflower is a short-up to one foot tall-and hairy plant with several stout, thick stems growing from perennial taproots. The leaves are mainly basal, with three leaves in a whorl just below the flower. Each silky leaf is deeply dissected into narrow fingertike lobes. Each stem terminates in a cup-shaped, silky, lavender-blue flower with numerous yellow stamens. As the flower matures, the sepals turn brown and a long, plumose, feather-like fruit develops. HABITAT/RANGE: One of the earliest spring bloomers, it pushes through old, weathered grass in well-drained soils of prairies or mountain meadows. Found from Washington to Alaska, along the northern plains to Illinois, and the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to Texas. FACTS/USES: Pasqueflower is derived from the old form of the word pasch and refers to the feast of the Passover at Easter. Native Americans had many medicinal uses for this plant.

 

0YELLOW COLUMBINE Aquilegia flavescens This flower is similar in appearance to Colorado columbine, except the sepals are reddish and the hollow spurs of the petals are yellow. The fruit is a hairy pod, containing many seeds. HABITAT/RANGE: This common wildflower prefers moist, acidic soils of rocky ledges and screes, mountain meadows and alpine slopes. It is distributed from British Columbia to Alberta, south to Colorado, Utah and Eastern Oregon. Blooms from June to August. FACTS/USES: The generic name is derived from the Latin word, aquila, meaning eagle, and refers to the eagle-like spurs or claws of the flower. Columbine has a number of medicinal uses. Tea made from the roots and leaves is good for diarrhea, or most any kind of stomach and bowel troubles. To cure a headache, a tea can be brewed by gathering the tiny black seeds and crushing them in hot water. The dried roots can be used to cause perspiration on the skin.

 

0MARSHMARIGOLD Caltha Leptosepala The white buttercup-like flowers arise from a basal cluster of heart-shaped, green, fleshy leaves on a pinkish, naked stalk one to eight inches high. The flowers are one to two inches wide and lack petals, butthe five to 12 sepals are showy white. HABITAT/RANGE: A common wildflower growing in dense mats along stream banks in wet alpine and subalpine meadows; it's found from Alaska to Alberta and south to New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon. Flowers from late May until early August, depending upon latitude. FACTS/USES: The generic name, caltha, is from an early Greek name tor a yellow-flowered species, and the specific name means thin-sepaled. The eastern species of marshmarigold (C. palustris) was cooked and eaten by Native Americans and early settlers. Our Western species is, however, more bitter and possibly toxic, due to poisonous glucosides, and so is not widely known as a food plant for people.

 

0COLUMBIA CLEMATIS Clematis Columbians This perennial, woody, creeping vine may grow to 10 feet in length. The large, two-inch-diameter, pale purple flowers are borne singly on a peduncle that stems from leaf axils. Each flower is comprised of four showy, long, lanceolate sepals (there are no petals), which flare outward to reveal a cluster of numerous yellow stamens. The ovary styles elongate into a feathery plume. The opposite leaves are compound, with three broad lanceolate leaflets. HABITAT/RANGE: Clematis is a climbing vine and usually drapes over stumps and fallen trees. It prefers dry to moist soils of shrubby or wooded sites of foothills to the montane zone. It's a common flower from British Columbia to Montana and south to Colorado, Utah and Oregon. Blooms May to July. FACTS/USES: The specific name, columbiana, refers to the Columbia River drainage or the region west of the Continental Divide.

 

0SUGARBOWLS Clematis hirsutissima Sugarbowls are a low, bush-like, herbaceous perennial. The one- to two-foot-tall leafy stems terminate with a single, nodding, leathery flower. Each flower is two-toned. The outside of the four sepals have a grayish pubescence (this genera lacks petals), while the inside is dark purple or maroon. The sepals flare outward and give the flower a "sugarbowl" appearance. The leaves are finely dissected into fingerlike projections with a silver, hairy covering. The styles elongate into feathery plumes nearly two inches long, with each plume bearing a single achene. HABITAT/RANGE: It is found on dry grasslands and sagebrush deserts to montane forests. Distributed from Oregon and British Columbia to Montana, south to northern New Mexico and Arizona. A spring and early summer bloomer. FACTS/USES: The specific name, hirsutissima, means very hairy.

 

0VIRGIN'S BOWER Clematis ligusticifolia Virgin's bower is a clambering woody vine that grows to a length of 10 to 20 feet. At times, the plant can cover or engulf its support shrub, tree, or fence and, when in full bloom, is covered with a profusion of cream-colored flowers. The flowers have four or five showy sepals, with no petals, and staminate and pistillate flowers on separate plants. As the flower matures, the style of the pistil elongates into a tan one-to two-inch plume. The leaves are opposite and pinnately compound into five to seven toothed leaflets. HABITAT/ RANGE: This species is found along creek bottoms, sagebrush deserts to ponderosa pine forests. It is well-distributed from British Columbia to the Dakotas, south to New Mexico and California. Flowers May to August. FACTS/USES: This plant was used medicinally by Native Americans for sore throats, colds, and as a tonic brew.

 

0LITTLE LARKSPUR Delphinium bicolor This flower is verysimilarto upland larkspur (D. nuttallianum). The main difference is that the two small lower petals, which overlap the two large lower sepals, are deep blue and have a shallow notch. The sepals, too, are unequal, the lower pair being the longest. HABITAT/RANGE: Adwellerof grasslands and ponderosa pine forests to subalpine meadows and scree. It has a small range, from Alberta to Saskatchewan, South Dakota to Wyoming and central Idaho. Flowers in May and June. FACTS/USES: There is an old Greek legend behind the genus name: The Greeks believed that a fisherman lost his life while saving a dolphin from being captured. In return, the dolphin carried the man's body on its back to the god, Neptune, and begged that he be restored to life in some manner. Neptune thus turned him into a flowerthat is the color of the sea and whose bud is shaped like a dolphin with a load on its back.

 

0UPLAND LARKSPUR Delphinium nuttallianum Upland larkspur is a rather showy flower with large dark blue or purplish, irregular flowers and an upper sepal projecting backward as a spur. The common name refers to this prolonged sepal, comparing it to the spur on the foot of a lark. The stems are seven to 16 inches tall, with finely hairy, fingerlike lobed leaves that originate from the base or along the stem. HABITAT/RANGE: Its habitat is varied from dry to moist sagebrush deserts to mountain valleys and slopes. It is found from British Columbia to Alberta, south to Wyoming, Nebraska, Arizona and California. Blooms from early spring to early summer. FACTS/USES: All parts of this plant contain poisonous alkaloids, mainly delphinine, and it Is considered highly toxic to cattle in the spring, but not poisonous to domestic sheep. Early settlers used the seeds as poison baits in exterminating lice.

 

0DUNCECAP LARKSPUR Delphinium occidentale Duncecap larkspur is a very tall, stout perennial herb that reaches a height of three to six feet. The whitish-streaked or pale-blue flowers have five petallike sepals, with the upper sepal projecting backward into a hollow spur. The leaves are palmately divided into five to seven lobes, which usually are lance or diamond-shaped and finely hairy. HABITAT/RANGE: This plant prefers rich loam soils of moist mountain meadows or stream banks and flourishes in open or shaded sites. It often is associated with aspen stands. Distributed throughout the western United States, except for the southern states. Blooms during June and July. FACTS/USES: The Latin specific name means western, referring to the plant's range. This species is considered highly poisonous to livestock, especially when they graze mountain meadows in the early spring, as new shoots are emerging.

 

0SUBALPINE BUTTERCUP Ranunculus eschscholtzii This perennial plant has brilliant, shiny yellow flowers that fade to white as they mature. The leaves help distinguish this species from the other numerous buttercups. The leaves are three-lobed; the middle lobe may be divided again into three segments or undivided; and the side lobes are divided into three to seven segments, making the leaves appear as numerous narrowfingers. HABITAT/RANGE: A plantof moist mountain meadows, ridges, and talus slopes. Varying in height from two to 12 inches due to environmental extremes, this widely dispersed mountain flower grows from Alaska to Alberta, south to New Mexico and southern California. Blooms late June to early August. FACTS/USES: Buttercups are considered poisonous, though the toxicity depends on the species and the part of the plant, with the flowers being the most toxic. The toxin, protoanemonin, dissipates when the plant is boiled or dried.

 

0WATER BUTTERCUP Ranunculus aquatilis Easily identified by its aquatic habitat, this plant is mainly submersed, with the brownish stems and finely divided leaves floating on the surface of the water. The small, delicate, five-petaled, white flowers are held above the water by stalks. The plant grows in dense patches and can bear a profuse number of white blossoms that gently wave in the current. HABITAT/ RANGE: A native of sluggish streams and ponds from lowlands to higher elevations throughout much of North America and Europe, it blooms from May until August, depending upon elevation. FACTS/USES: The genus Fianunculuswas named by the first-century Roman scholar, Pliny. The Latin specific name is derived from rana, meaning frog, in reference to most of the species' aquatic habits. This plant provides excellent breeding beds for aquatic insects, which, in turn, provide food for trout and waterfowl.

 

0SAGEBRUSH BUTTERCUP Fianunculus glabemmus This shiny, bright yellow, five-petaled and many-stamened flower is one of the first plants to appear in the spring, following the receding snow. The long, fleshy basal leaves are elliptic to roundish in shape, and the stem leaves are three-lobed. The two- to eight-inch plant ascends from thick, fleshy roots and, in the fall, new shoots, or buds, form and remain dormant under the snow until spring. HABITAT/RANGE: This flower is one of the earliest spring bloomers of sagebrush and grasslands and blooms during summer in mountain meadows. It is distributed widely from British Columbia to the Dakotas, Nebraska, New Mexico and California. FACTS/USES: The specific name, glabberimus, means very smooth, referring to the waxy-shiny appearance of the flowers and leaves. The common name of buttercup comes from the resemblance of the shiny yellow flowers to a cup of butter.

 

0GLOBEFLOWER Trollius laxus Globeflower is a perennial herb that grows in clumps with five to nine whitish or yellowish petallike sepals, which often become dingy when they begin to fade. The leaves are palmately cleft into five lobes, which again are deeply toothed. Both leaves and stems are glabrous with the clustered stems each bearing a single terminal flower. HABITAT/RANGE: This inhabitant of swamps and streams to above timberline in wet alpine meadows is distributed from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and east to Connecticut and south along the Rocky Mountains to Colorado. Blossoms in the early spring near snowline. FACTS/USES: The specific name mans lax, open or loose, referring to the open flowers. The common globeflower, however, comes from other garden species, which have a round or globe-like shape. Globeflower easily can be confused with marshmarigold.

 

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
the surrounding communities visit these helpful sites:

YellowstoneNationalPark.com
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