Trip to Pagoda and Turtlehead Mountains in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana, USA

This Journal entry is really a way to group all my observations for plants and flowers (mostly) that I have tried to identify, but have relatively little confidence in, because I don't know much about flowers in Montana.

Much of the information I have learned is from the Montana Field Guide, which is a very nice resource.

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/default.aspx

If anyone knows plants in this region, or knows of someone who does, I sure would love to know whether any of my IDs are correct, and what some of my unknown flowers/plants are.

Posted by beschwar beschwar, July 31, 2016 05:32

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

White Bog Orchid (Platanthera dilatata)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 7, 2016 07:34 PM CDT

Description

Several of these were growing in a wet area below a small spring on the edge of the main trail, somewhere in this general region.

Photos / Sounds

What

Mountain Deathcamas (Anticlea elegans)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 7, 2016 07:34 PM CDT

Description

These were growing in a small spring/seep area next to the main trail in this area and near/in a group of White Bog Orchids. I have so far been unable to identify them.

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3752463

Photos / Sounds

What

Fireweed Clearwing Moth (Albuna pyramidalis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Perhaps Synanthedon tipuliformis?

This was dead and had been caught by a white crab spider on a Bog Orchid (both posted separately).

Photos / Sounds

What

Alaska Piperia (Platanthera unalascensis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Piperia unalascensis, I believe. Several were found in a cool wet area along the Helen Creek Trail.

Photos / Sounds

What

Flower Crab Spiders (Genus Misumena)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

This white Flower Crab spider was on what I believe is Piperia unalascensis orchid, and had apparently fed on a Synanthedon moth that was still stuck on the plant.

Photos / Sounds

What

Utah Honeysuckle (Lonicera utahensis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Seen growing in several places along the Helen Creek Trail.

Photos / Sounds

What

Streambank Wild Hollyhock (Iliamna rivularis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

A few plants were seen along Helen Creek. By July 16, the plants and blooms were much taller and more impressive!

Photos / Sounds

What

Canadian Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Growing in a cool mossy area under tall trees.

Photos / Sounds

What

Bride's Bonnet (Clintonia uniflora)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Growing near Cornus canadensis in a cool mossy area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia flavescens)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Sweet-Vetch (Hedysarum occidentale)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Lots of this was blooming along the trail at this elevation. I believe this ID is correct.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fireweed Clearwing Moth (Albuna pyramidalis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Perhaps Synanthedon tipuliformis, but it doesn't look quite the same as photos I find online.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Alpine (Erebia epipsodea)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Parasite Flies (Family Tachinidae)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

An interesting fly that landed on my backpack. I haven't had time to try to narrow down the ID any farther than this, but I think the Family is correct.

Photos / Sounds

What

Willowherbs (Genus Epilobium)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

This flower has me stumped. The four petals and general plant structure leads me to think it is Brassicaceae, but I can't seem to get any farther than this.

Photos / Sounds

What

Leafy-bract Aster (Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. apricum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

This seems to be the closest match based on the MT Field guide, internet photos, and ranges for the species.

Photos / Sounds

What

Ornate Checkered Beetle (Trichodes ornatus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

A patch of these were blooming in a small depression that still had some snow on the north-facing side.

Photos / Sounds

What

Lanceleaf Spring Beauty (Claytonia lanceolata)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Blooming next to Glacier Lilies.

Photos / Sounds

What

Baker's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus apiculatus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 2016

Description

I think this is the correct species of Mariposa Lily. Corrections are welcome!

Photos / Sounds

What

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Beardtongues (Genus Penstemon)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

Argh!!! There are so many Penstemon in Montana, and I don't know them well at all. This one was growing in a steep limestone gravel scree slope that faces west.

Photos / Sounds

What

Bladderpods (Genus Physaria)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

There are a number of these growing in a steep limestone gravel scree slope that faces west. Using the MT field guide, it seems to be one of a couple species, but then those species are not found in this area. So I'm not really sure what to call this one. I posted photos of the pods in 2014, and this year I was there when they were blooming, though the blooms were gone by July 16.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hooker's Eight-petal Mountain-Avens (Dryas hookeriana)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Prairie Flax (Linum lewisii var. lewisii)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Larkspurs (Genus Delphinium)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

There seem to be several potential species of Delphinium in this region, and I am not confident enough to ID this to the species level.

Like a number of other interesting flowers on this slope, this one was growing in a steep limestone gravel scree slope that faces west.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

This was the only clump I saw on this trip. It was growing on an east facing clay slope weathered from a shale.

Photos / Sounds

What

Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Silky Phacelia (Phacelia sericea)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Description

This may be a subspecies of this. Growing out of a limestone slab.

Photos / Sounds

What

Columbian Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Meadow Flies (Genus Chrysotoxum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 8, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Black Alpine Sedge (Carex nigricans)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:46 AM CDT

Description

Growing along an alpine stream, right at the water's edge.

Photos / Sounds

What

Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:53 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Small-flower Anemone (Anemone parviflora)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:53 AM CDT

Description

Growing on north-facing steep moist slopes near base of cliffs, and in small drainageways.

Photos / Sounds

What

Willows (Genus Salix)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:45 AM CDT

Description

Growing along an alpine stream at ~7500'

Photos / Sounds

What

Cusick's Speedwell (Veronica cusickii)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:54 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Cutleaf Anemone (Anemone multifida)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 11:56 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Showy Jacob's-Ladder (Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 12:07 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Curved-beak Lousewort (Pedicularis contorta)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 12:12 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 9, 2016 05:21 PM CDT

Description

Several does and 2 bucks hung around camp for two weeks. They were completely unafraid, but not looking for food, either.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pink Mountainheath (Phyllodoce empetriformis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Cinquefoils (Genus Potentilla)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Perhaps Norwegian Cinquefoil, Potentilla norvegica.

Photos / Sounds

What

Lanceleaf Stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum ssp. lanceolatum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Varileaf Cinquefoil (Potentilla glaucophylla)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Couldn't conclusively narrow this one down using the online MT Field Guide, but I believe it is different than the other species I have posted for this area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rockcresses (Genus Boechera)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Seems to match the description on the online MT Field Guide for this species.

Photos / Sounds

What

Roundleaf Alumroot (Heuchera cylindrica)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Possibly a subspecies of Heuchera cylindrica, but I can't narrow it down to that level.

Very common in the area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Cinquefoils (Genus Potentilla)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Yet another species of Cinquefoil that I have not yet narrowed down to species level. This one has leaves and flowers that seem to be substantially different from the other more common yellow species in the area: leaves are glabrous and somewhat fleshy, comparatively.

Photos / Sounds

What

Elk Thistle (Cirsium scariosum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

A few of these were seen very widely scattered around the region

Photos / Sounds

What

Nuttall's Rockcress (Arabis nuttallii)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

I think this is Nuttall's Rockcress: Arabis nuttallii

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

I'll call this Greater Red Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) for now, but the leaves don't seem quite right for that species. Nothing else on the MT Field Guide seems to match well, either.

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow Columbine (Aquilegia flavescens)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Mountain Bog Gentian (Gentiana calycosa)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Virginia Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Fernleaf Biscuitroot (Lomatium dissectum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

I'm pretty certain this is a Biscuitroot, and this species seems to be the best match so far: Lomatium dissectum

Photos / Sounds

What

Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Common in the area

Photos / Sounds

What

Baker's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus apiculatus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Beardtongues (Genus Penstemon)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

I thought I had a better photo of this, but it seems not.

Photos / Sounds

What

Beardtongues (Genus Penstemon)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Arctic Skipper (Carterocephalus skada)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Jeffrey's Shootingstar (Primula jeffreyi ssp. jeffreyi)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

A single large patch

Photos / Sounds

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

Common

Photos / Sounds

What

Green False-Helleborine (Veratrum viride)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum occidentale)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Description

I think this is the correct species of Meadowrue

Photos / Sounds

What

Scouler's St. John's Wort (Hypericum scouleri)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Low Larkspur (Delphinium bicolor)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 13, 2016 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Woodland-Star (Genus Lithophragma)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 14, 2016

Description

My best guess, based on the flower structure, is that this might be in the genus Silene, but I welcome any other ideas or IDs!

Photos / Sounds

What

Mountain Deathcamas (Anticlea elegans)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Deathcamas (Genus Toxicoscordion)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

This is just a guess, based on the flower structure, plant habit, and leaf structure. I only saw a couple plants of this, while Deathcamas (Anticlea elegans) was quite common.

Photos / Sounds

What

Showy Jacob's-Ladder (Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Pussytoes (Genus Antennaria)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

This interesting plant was fairly common as small patches of groundcover in rocky areas with little soil, or in rock fractures. I have been unable to find anything similar in field guides, but I'm sure that's because I just don't know where to start on it. The photo of the dead flower stalk at least shows the size of the flower, even though it was not blooming.

Photos / Sounds

What

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Sticky Cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

I'm not terribly confident about this ID, but it seems like it is the only white Cinquefoil that is in the region and looks similar.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Rocky Mountain Parnassian (Parnassius smintheus)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

@benhutchins and I spent a while looking for this one in the book "A Swift Guide To Butterflies of North America", but it is not there. We also failed to find it using an online search. Wingspan is ~4.5 cm. Found taking shelter on sunny south facing ground, in between some small rocks.

Photos / Sounds

What

Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchella)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

Several of these, and several Fritillaries, decided that my backpack was a good place for a feeding frenzy while I took a few minutes to cool my feet in the stream!

Photos / Sounds

What

Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

This is an educated guess. I've decided that some Fritillaries might be more trouble to ID than I'm willing to deal with. :-)

Photos / Sounds

What

White Campion (Silene latifolia)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 15, 2016

Description

While I hope that this ID is incorrect, and that this is actually a native Silene species, I don't hold much hope for that, given all the traffic in this area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Alpine Mountainsnail (Oreohelix alpina)

Observer

beschwar

Date

July 14, 2016

Description

Edited 8-7-2016: added photos of live snail.

Edited 1-15-2018: ID narrowed further from O. strigosa to O. alpina. Shell sutures are too impressed for O. strigosa, and the diameter and height to diameter ratio, as well as the umbilicus/diameter ratio all suggest O. alpina over strigosa, to me. According to Pilsbry, O. alpina also matches this shell in that 'The last whorl is strongly angular at periphery but the angle disappears near the end, where the whorl descends slightly.' In addition, O. alpina has been documented from the Bob Marshall on nearby Scapegoat Mountain to the SSE, as well as in the Mission Mountains to the west.

Using "A Guide to the Land Snails and Slugs of Montana", and Pilsbry, 1939, I have narrowed this down to (I believe): Oreohelix alpina.

The snail was found live on a north-facing steep rocky slope a few hundred feet below a ~200' limestone cliff. Elevation of the site is ~ 7500', vegetation is low with a few small evergreen trees.

Color of the live animal is very dark, nearly entirely black.

These photos are of the live snail after collection, but the snail had dried slightly and retreated into its shell.

Despite approximately 10 man-hours of sporadic searching in the region over a 7-day period, this was the only snail or shell found, and I was keeping a pretty good eye out for snails. I discovered it on a damp rock, two days after a heavy rainstorm, with rainy and cooler than average weather during the entire week leading up to finding it. Temps were in the 50s to 60s F during the day and high 30s at night.

Source:

https://archive.org/details/Aa103edf-3eb4-41a9-95a1-12046928fe85

Hendricks, Paul. 2012. A Guide to the Land Snails and Slugs of Montana. A report to the U.S.
Forest Service - Region 1. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. vii + 187 pp. plus
appendices.

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