I love spotting my first buttercup in spring. It is sort of like seeing a robin or smelling a skunk; all signs of spring in Montana.
There is a little patch of buttercups out by Blue Mountain in Missoula that typically are the first I see pop up. I look forward to seeing the first one come up every year.
This year I frequented the spot for days, like some crazy stalker hoping to catch a sign of the bright yellow flower. Then I had to leave town for a week, and wouldn’t you know it the whole patch bloomed while I was gone! But at least I captured some great photos of the fully bloomed flowers.
Buttercups are one of Montana’s earliest blooming wildflowers, typically blooming in March and April. More information from Montana’s state field guide can be found here.
A couple others I found on my walk today were Smallflower Woodland-star, and a Yellow Bell.
The Smallflower Woodland-star have amazing details of these bitty star-shaped wildflowers. The diameter of this flower is about 1/2 inch and it stands atop red stems that are about 3-4 inches tall. The stem and the bulbous calyx are covered in purple/red-tipped glandular hairs.
Yellowbells go by a couple different names such as Yellow Fritillary, Yellow Missionbells, Gold Bell. They are another early bloomer and are found primarily only in the western United States.
Check back for more wildflower sightings next week!