One of the big surprises of my trip west in June was how challenging it was for me to find wildflowers. After all, it was June – they should be all over the place right! Well not really – it was a long winter so there was still lots of snow on the ground when I arrived in Yellowstone National Park in early June. I spent my first several days at Yellowstone exploring the southern and eastern parts of the park. While the geysers, lakes and river canyons were wonderful – I was getting frustrated by the lack of wildflowers.
Later in the trip, I visited the northern areas in the park – and it was in the Lamar Valley that I found lots of wildflowers. While talking with one of the park rangers about my challenge finding wildflowers – she very nicely explained about the Yellowstone Caldera – which is where all the volcanic and thermal activity in the park takes place. And that one of the characteristics of the caldera region is not great soil condition for wildflowers. So now I know – if I want to photograph wildflowers at Yellowstone – I’m more likely to find them in the non-Caldera region. And I did find some wonderful wildflowers in the Lamar Valley region of Yellowstone National Park!
Here are some of the wildflowers I photographed at Yellowstone National Park.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot – Balsamoriza sagittata – a member of the sunflower family
Meadow Death Camas – Zaigadenus venenosus – a member of the Lily family – and yes – all parts of the plant are poisonous.
Glacier Lilies – Erythronium grandiflorum – another member of the Lily family
Prairie Smoke – Geum triflorum – a member of the rose family
Sugar Bowl – Clematis hirsutissima – a member of the Buttercup family
© 2011 Patty Hankins
Mountain Forget-Me-Not – Myosotis alpestris – a member of the Borage family
Phlox – possibly Rocky Mountain Phlox – Phlox multifloral
I’m thinking about heading back to Yellowstone next summer – and if I do – I’ll definitely plan on spending most of my time in the northern sections of the park.