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kinnkinnickKINNIKINNICK Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Kinnikinnick is a low-trailing or matted, evergreen shrub, rarely more than two feet high, with long, flattened branches. The woody stems are brownish-red with flaky bark. The ovate leaves are leathery, shiny and dark green. Clustered in racemes at the ends of branches are small, waxy, pale pink, urn-shaped flowers, which later develop into bright red, pea-sized berries. HABITAT/RANGE: Kinnikinnick typically occurs on gravel or sand terraces, in coniferous woods, on dry banks and alpine slopes. It is a circumpolar species found in North America, from Alaska to Labrador, south to coastal California, New Mexico and the central and eastern United States. Flowers April to June. FACTS/USES: The common name, kinnikinnick, is a word used by Native Americans for tobacco mixtures. The specific name means bear's grape, referring to the fruits eaten by bears. The leaves have been used as a direuretic, for bronchitis, gonorrhea, and diarrhea.

 

princespinePRINCE'S-PINE Chimaphlia umbellata The most distinctive characteristics of this plant are its five-petaled, pinkish, saucer-shaped, nodding flowers. Ten stamens surrounda prominent green ovary. The evergreen plant rises four to 12 inches from a branching rootstock. Arranged in whorls along the stem are leathery, waxy, elliptic leaves with saw-toothed margins. As the flowers mature into roundish capsules, bearing numerous small seeds, the pedicels become erect and the fruite are held upright. HABITAT/ RANGE: It commonly is found in coniferous woods and on alpine slopes where it is moist in the spring and dry in the summer. This circumboreal species is found in the Rocky Mountains, from Alaska to Alberta, south to New Mexico and California. Flowers from early to midsummer. FACTS/USES: The specific name means with umbels. The Greek generic name is derived from the words cheima, for winter, and philos, tor loving, because of its evergreen habit.

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alpine laurelALPINE LAUREL Kalmia microphylla A small, low evergreen shrub that seldom grows to more than two feet in height. The leaves are leathery, lanceolate, smooth, dark green on the upper surface and whitish green on the lower surface, with rolled-under margins. The stems terminate in a corymb inflorescence with each flower on a long, slender, red pedicel. Each deep-pink-colored flower has five fused petals that form a bowl-shaped corolla. HABITAT/ RANGE: Alpine laurel is primarily a subalpine or alpine plant, preferring wet mountain meadows and boggy sites. A mountain species distributed from Alaska to Alberta, south to Colorado and California. Flowers between June and September, depending on elevation. FACTS/USES: The specific name is in honor of Peter Kalm, an 18th century student of Linnaeus who collected plants in America. Alpine laurel is poisonous to grazing livestock.

 

labradorteaSMOOTH LABRADOR-TEA Ledum glandulosum This moderately tall, stout, evergreen shrub obtains a height of two to five feet. Clustered at the tips of branches are bright white flowers with five petals and 10 protruding stamens. The oblong or oval leathery evergreen leaves are dark green on the upper surface and light-colored and dotted with tiny golden glands beneath. Flowers form a seed capsule on a recurving stalk with five cells, which split outward to disperse seeds. HABITAT/RANGE: Smooth labrador-tea is distributed from Alaska to British Columbia south to northwestern Wyoming and Sierra California, but it is mainly a Pacific Coast species. It typically occurs just below subalpine zones in acidic bogs or wet areas in the mountains. Blooms during July. FACTS/USES: The generic name means glandular, referring to the glands on the stems and leaves. Even though considered poisonous, a related species, L. groenlandicum, was used as a substitute for tea in the far North.

 

huckleberryPOOL'S HUCKLEBERRY Menziesia ferruginea Fool's huckleberry may form dense thickets three to six feet tall. The erect shrub has deciduous, pale green, ovate leaves with waxy margins that form rosettes at the end of slender branches. Small pinkish urn-shaped flowers with four lobes hang by short stalks in clusters beneath the leaves. The fruit is a dry, inedible, four-parted capsule. Autumn foliage turns a brilliant crimson-orange. HABITAT/RANGE: Prefers shaded, moist coniferous forests and stream banks from Alaska to the Rocky Mountain states, south to California. Flowers during June and July. FACTS/USES: The generic name is in honor of Archibald Menzies, surgeon and naturalist with the Vancouver Expedition of 1790-95 and one of the first botanists to collect plants from the Pacific Northwest. The specific name means rusty and refers to the rusty-colored glands that cover the plant.

 

heatherPINK MOUNTAIN-HEATHER Phyiiodoce empetriformis A dwarf evergreen shrub with short, numerous, linear, needlelike leaves. The shrub seldom exceeds 20 inches tall. The conspicuous flowers are deep pink or rose, urn-shaped and clustered in umbels. HABITAT/RANGE: An inhabitant of moist to wet soils or open rocky slopes, forests, and higher alpine elevations. It is widely distributed from Alaska to Alberta, south to Colorado and Central California. Blooms from late June to early August. FACTS/USES: The Greek generic name, Phyiiodoce, is that of a sea nymph. The specific name means empetrum-leaved. Heathers and heaths are attractive ornamental shrubs. Scottish heaths are a close relative to our native species. But our native species is difficult to transplant, and it is nearly impossible to produce flowers on a transplanted shrub.

 

pinedropsWOODLAND PINEDROPS Pterospora andromedea This plant is a saprophyte. Lacking chlorophyll, it derives its food from dead and decaying plant material. The tall, reddish-brown, hairy-glandularstems, uptothreefeettall, lackleaves and green color. The yellow, bell-like pendulous flowers are arranged in a widely spaced raceme. The whole plant turns rusty-brown at maturity and persists as a dried stalk through the winter. HABITAT/RANGE: It is very dependent upon the deep humus of coniferous forests, often found under lodge-pole or ponderosa pines. Distributed from Alaska to Alberta and south to Mexico and California. Blooms from late June into August. FACTS/USES: The generic name is derived from the Greek pteron, meaning wing, and sporos, meaning seed. The seeds of this species have a netlike wing on one end.

 

pyrolaPINK PYROLA Pyrola asarifolia Pink pyrola is a small, perennial, woodland herb with slender, creeping rhizomes. A stem eight to 16 inches high arises form a basal rosette of shiny green, round or kidney-shaped leaves. The pink to purplish five-petaled flowers are waxy in appearance and hang down in racemes. The style extends beyond the open petals and curves outward, giving the appearance of an elephant's trunk. HABITAT/RANGE: Pink pyrola inhabits moist soils, especially in shaded woods near springs. Widely distributed across North America from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to New York, Minnesota, New Mexico and California. Blooms from late June to early August. FACTS/USES: The Latin generic name, pyrola, means pear, because the leaves of some species are somewhat pear-shaped. The specific name, asarifolia, means asarum-leaved.

 

wintergreenONE-SIDED WINTERGREEN Pyrola secunda These small, coniferous forest-dwelling flowers ascend two to eight inches from branching, slender rootstocks and commonly form dense colonies. The small, bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers are borne in a short, one-sided raceme, which usually bends gracefully downward. Each flower has a long style with a knob-like stigma that projects beyond the corolla. The leaves are a half inch to two and a half inches long, and are ovate, with minutely scalloped edges. HABITAT/RANGE: One-sided wintergreen is a dweller of moist, coniferous woods from Alaska to Newfoundland and the Atlantic Coast, south to Mexico and southern California. Flowering period: June-August. FACTS/USES: One-sided Wintergreen's leaves are olive-green and retain their color throughout winter, as suggested by their common name.

 

big huckleberryBIG HUCKLEBERRY Vaccinium membranaceum Big huckleberry is a fairly large shrub ranging from two to four feet in height. The woody stems are erect and greatly branched with younger, somewhat angled greenish twigs bearing the elliptic, finely serrated leaves. The small, inconspicuous, greenish to pink, translucent, pendulous, urn-shaped flowers are hidden below the leaves. The fruit is a flattened-globe-shaped berry, which ranges from wine-colored to nearly black. HABITAT/RANGE: This species prefers northern exposures of dry or moist sites, sandy or gravelly loams and often can be the dominant understory of coniferous montane forests. It typically occurs from Alaska to Michigan and south to Wyoming, Idaho and northern California. Flowers mid-May to July, with fruits usually appearing in early August. FACTS/ USES: The berries are an important food for wildlife, especially bears, and for humans.

 

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
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YellowstoneNationalPark.com
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YellowstoneFlyFishing.com


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