Beargrass Blooms in Glacier National Park - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Beargrass Blooms in Glacier National Park

Posted: Updated:

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) is a common wildflower found in Glacier National Park and this year has produced prolific blossoms, especially near park headquarters on the west-side of the park.
 
Beargrass is not a grass, but a member of the Melanthiaceae family (recently split from the lily family). The plant is native to Montana, but can also be found in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains throughout the Pacific Northwest, extending from British Columbia to northern California and eastward to Alberta and northwestern Wyoming. Beargrass can grow up to five feet in height with long and wiry, grass-like basal leaves at the base of the stalk and a cluster of small, dense white flowers at the top. Bears do not eat the plant, but they will use leaves as denning material. Sheep, deer, elk, and goats are known to eat beargrass.
 
Beargrass can bloom whenever climatic conditions are ideal, not necessarily every seven years as common myth suggests. A single plant may have numerous basal rosettes on a common root system. Each rosette will bloom only once. Factors for abundant plant blooming include ideal amounts of spring rainfall and moisture present in the soil. While some beargrass can be found blooming every year, park managers note that mass blossoming of beargrass typically occurs every five to ten years in Glacier National Park. Blooming can begin in late May in lower elevations and continue into August in the high country.
 
The plant was first called beargrass by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition, 19th century explorers of western America. At that time "Bear grass" was a common name for yucca (commonly called soapweed today), which bears a superficial resemblance to beargrass.  Native Americans have used beargrass leaves for basket weaving and roots were used to treat injuries. Other common names for this plant include bear lily, pine lily, elk grass, squaw grass, and turkeybeard.
 
Visitors are encouraged to experience the abundance of beargrass in Glacier National Park this year, but are reminded that picking flowers or collecting plants is prohibited within the park.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Authorities Get Dozens Of Tips & Narrow Search For Lucius Robbi

    Authorities Get Dozens Of Tips & Narrow Search For Lucius Robbi

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:55:50 GMT
    Dozens of tips pour into sheriff's departments in Montana and Idaho, but there's been no luck in finding missing University of Montana student Lucius Robbi.
    Dozens of tips pour into sheriff's departments in Montana and Idaho, but there's been no luck in finding missing University of Montana student Lucius Robbi.
  • Bail, Arraignment Dates Set For Kalispell Six Caught In Sex Sting

    Bail, Arraignment Dates Set For Kalispell Six Caught In Sex Sting

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:27 PM EDT2014-08-26 00:27:21 GMT
    We learn more about six of the men caught in a four-day, online sex sting.
    We learn more about six of the men caught in a four-day, online sex sting.
  • PHOTOS: National Dog Day!

    PHOTOS: National Dog Day!

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:00 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:00:18 GMT
    August 26 is National Dog Day! National Dog Day was created back in 2004, and it gives us a chance to stop and appreciate those who offer us their unconditional love, support, and acceptance: our pups!
    August 26 is National Dog Day! National Dog Day was created back in 2004, and it gives us a chance to stop and appreciate those who offer us their unconditional love, support, and acceptance: our pups!
  • Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Seven Arrested in Kalispell Sex Sting

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:10:39 GMT
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
    A four-day online sex sting ends with the arrest of seven Flathead men for sexual abuse of children, and more arrests are pending.
  • More Details On The Sex Sting Seven

    More Details On The Sex Sting Seven

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:07:34 GMT
    Seven men sit behind bars and more could be headed that way after a four-day investigation headed by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
    Seven men sit behind bars and more could be headed that way after a four-day investigation headed by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
  • Spokane County prosecutor accused of helping out wanted felon

    Spokane County prosecutor accused of helping out wanted felon

    Monday, August 25 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-08-26 01:05:52 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Newly unsealed court documents detail an alleged relationship between a Spokane County inmate and Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor. 
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Newly unsealed court documents detail an alleged relationship between a Spokane County inmate and Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor. Court documents say Spokane deputy prosecutor Marriya Wright and Matthew Baumrucker exchanged nearly 1300 text messages while he was wanted by police. Wright is being investigated for rendering criminal assistance and is on paid administrative leave.
  • OSHA Investigates Kalispell Walmart After Employee Death

    OSHA Investigates Kalispell Walmart After Employee Death

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-08-26 00:14:59 GMT
    An OSHA team investigates the death of a Kalispell Walmart employee who fell from a ladder on Friday.
    An OSHA team investigates the death of a Kalispell Walmart employee who fell from a ladder on Friday.
  • Gang Violence Slows Down In Missoula

    Gang Violence Slows Down In Missoula

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-08-26 16:12:43 GMT
    An autopsy shows gang symbols were carved into it Gilbert Barry's body, the man who was shot and killed before being thrown into the Clark Fork River.
    An autopsy shows gang symbols were carved into it Gilbert Barry's body, the man who was shot and killed before being thrown into the Clark Fork River.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.