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10 Wildflowers You Should Know

Become a trail botanist. Learn to identify ten of the most common wildflowers
Click through this slideshow to see some of our country's most common wildflowers and learn a bit about each. Photos courtesy of HighCountryApps. They've got apps for Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, the Wasatch and Washington state.
  • 1. Longleaf aster (Symphyotrichum ascendens) is native to western North America and grows in a variety of habitats.  (Photo by Matt Lavin)
  • 2. Silvery lupine (Lupinus argenteus) produces a hairy legume pod that can be up to an inch in length and contains several seeds. (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 3.  Mountain lady’s slipper (Cypripedium montanum) can grow to be 27 inches tall. (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 4. Glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) bulbs are eaten by grizzly bears. (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 5.  Leopard lily (Fritillaria atropurpurea) is found in the Western United States beneath trees in leaf litter. (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 6. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is one of the species that was hybridized to create the garden strawberry. (Photo by Matt Lavin)
  • 7. Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) was used by Native American groups such as the Cheyenne as food and medicine.  (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 8. Dwarf fireweed (Chamerion latifolium) is completely edible.  It is the national flower of Greenland, where it’s known as niviarsiaq, meaning “little girl”. (Photo by Whiney Tilt)
  • 9. Mountain bluebells (Mertensia ciliate) has stems that reach over three feet tall and has edible flowers and leaves. (Photo by Whitney Tilt)
  • 10. Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is referenced by William Shakespeare in “Cymbeline.” (Photo by Rip McIntosh)
1. Longleaf aster (Symphyotrichum ascendens) is native to western North America and grows in a variety of habitats.  (Photo by Matt Lavin)
Image 1 of 10

1. Longleaf aster (Symphyotrichum ascendens) is native to western North America and grows in a variety of habitats. (Photo by Matt Lavin)


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Thank you for the wildflower photos and information. However, I find the statement that these are the "our country's most common wildflowers" inaccurate. Most of the wildflowers shown only occur in the north western part of the US with the exception of the Strawberry and Harebell. There are regional varieties such as the Pink Lady Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) and Trout Lily/Yellow Adder's Tongue (Erythronium americanum) that occur in the eastern part of the US.
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