Celebrating Wildflowers

 

Western Columbine - wildflower

 

 

What a special treat it is to gaze upon a meadow blanketed with colorful wildflowers! Or to find a perfect bloom underneath a towering tree while hiking a forest trail.  Americans get great pleasure from viewing and photographing our country’s beautiful native wildflowers. 

 

Purple monkey flower

 

 

On the Boise National Forest, a wide variety of gorgeous native wildflowers is available for visitors to experience and enjoy.  From the lovely lavender of the purple monkey flower to the sunny yellow of the sticky cinquefoil, the Forest is alive with a diverse array of native wildflowers.

 

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

 

 

But wildflowers aren’t just pretty to look at!  They also help sustain native ecosystems, contribute to clean air and water, provide food for humans and wildlife, as well as medicines, resins and dyes.

 

Sego Lily - wildflower

 

 

The USDA Forest Service started the Celebrating Wildflowers program in 1991. The program is a way to promote and enjoy wildflowers on the 191 million acres of national forests and grasslands. The Bureau of Land Management, which manages 270 million acres of public lands, joined the program in 1994. Together, the two agencies now promote wildflower programs on about 20 percent of the nation’s landmass.

 

Yellow Avalanche - wildflower

 

 

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and USDA Agricultural Research Service have also joined the program. In addition, groups like, garden clubs, botanical gardens, Native Plant Society chapters, nurseries, universities, and public schools actively participate in Celebrating Wildflowers.

 

Scarlet Gilia -wildflower

 

 

For more information about Idaho’s native plants, visit the Idaho Native Plant Society website at http://www.idahonativeplants.org/.

 

Check out USDA Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers.

 

(Photos taken by Boise NF Botanist Kay Beall)