The Montana Native Plant Society has over 600 members throughout the state and is open to anyone interested in native plants. They have six local chapters along with the state chapter. Their website is a great resource on landscaping with native plants along with other useful information.
Kelseya, the quarterly newsletter of the society, is available in print and online for members and online for anyone interested in Montana’s native plants.
Also available online is a list of plants collected by Lewis and Clark on their expedition along the Missouri River in Montana. Thirty one of these plants still exist today and the collected specimens are located in the Lewis and Clark Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
Found by Meriweather Lewis on the return trip of the Corps of Discovery across Montana, the Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva is now the state flower. This plant was valued by Native Americans as a food source and commodity.
A lovely botanical illustration of the Bitterroot by F.E. Marshall from A Century of Botanical Exploration in Montana, 1805-1905 by J.W. Blankenship. This book is avaiable for your perusal at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Call Number QK21.U5 B55.
Did you know that over 1,000 native plant species were discovered in Glacier National Park during the first botanical explorations and that these species are still there? Supporting conservation and planting native landscapes are primary concerns of the Montana Native Plant Society. Check out their website for plants that are native to your area and where you can get them! Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.