Yellowstone is home to over 1,700 species of native vascular plants and over 170 species of exotic (non-native) plants.

Capture the color, brilliance, hue, shape, and texture of Yellowstone on canvas, film, and in person. Experience Yellowstone in bloom! In looking for wildflowers, keep in mind that elevation, relative temperatures, soil types, and precipitation patterns all play a role in what you find blooming in various areas at different times of the year. In addition, far-reaching events such as wildland fires can cause spectacular blooms of species that thrive on the conditions these events create. All of these variables add up to one universal fact—wildflowers are where you find them!

Remember that many of Yellowstone’s wildflowers are also very important parts of animal diets. The bulbs of spring beauty and glacier lily, for example, are vital spring foods of the grizzly bear. Wild strawberries are collected by ground squirrels and chipmunks; the seeds of most wildflowers are used by birds and insects. Even the beautiful and delicate petals of many
flowers are used by animals. Porcupines may sometimes be seen munching flower petals. Bees and other insects collect nectar and pollen.

Exotic plants —escaped domestics and “weeds”—can be found in Yellowstone. Look for them in disturbed sites such as roadsides where they have little initial competition. Dalmation toadflax, yellow sweetclover, ox-eye daisy, and other exotic plants compete unnaturally with native plants. For this reason, and for the continued integrity of our ecosystem, these exotics are controlled by
pulling and/or spraying.

Wildflowers: Where and When They Bloom in Yellowstone
Flowers Location Blooming Period
White Flowers 
Marsh marigold  Wet meadows, parkwide & Beartooth Mtn May–July
Northern bedstraw Northern range  July–August
White geranium Moist areas, parkwide  July–August
Phlox  Parkwide   May–July
Wild strawberry Parkwide  May–July
Yampa  Meadows,parkwide July–August
Cow parsnip  Wet areas, parkwide  July–August
Evening primrose  Gardiner/Mammoth areas May–June
Ladies tresses  Thermal areas, meadows July–August
Woodland star Meadows, parkwide May–June
Yarrow  parkwide June–September
Pussytoes parkwide June–July
Spring beauty  parkwide April–June
Bistort  Meadows, parkwide & Beartooth Mtn  June–August
Yellow Flowers 
Arnica parkwide June–August
Groundsel  parkwide June–September
Yellow bell  Hayden Valley, Dunraven Pass  May–June
Glacier lily  Lake area, Dunraven Pass May–June
Cinquefoil parkwide June–August
Stonecrop Barren areas, parkwide June–August
Yellow monkeyflower  Thermal areas, bogs, creeks May–August
Rabbitbrush Northern range August–Sep
Balsamroot  Northern range June–July
Prickly pear cactus  Gardiner/Mammoth area Late June
Yellow pond lily Ponds, slow streams, parkwide  July–August 
Sulfur buckwheat Parkwide    June–August
Globeflower  Wet areas, Beartooth Mtns  May–June 
Helianthella  Dunraven Pass  July–August
Yellow violet  Moist meadows, parkwide  May–June 
Red–Pink Flowers 
Shooting star  Meadows, parkwide  May–June
Prairie smoke  Meadows, parkwide  June–July
Coralroot  Forest floor, parkwide  June–July
Bitterroot Northern range  May–June
Elephant head  Moist meadows, parkwide    June–July 
Twinflower  Moist forests  June–July
Paintbrush  parkwide  June–August 
Wild rose  Northern range     June–July 
Sticky geranium  Northern range, meadows, parkwide    June–August
Fireweed  parkwide  July–August 
Lewis monkeyflower  Dunraven Pass  July–August 
Blue–Purple Flowers 
Fringed gentian  Geyser basins & meadows, parkwide   May–August
Harebell  parkwide  July–August
Wild flax  Dry meadows, parkwide   June–August 
Penstemon  Meadows, parkwide  June–August
Lupine  parkwide  June–August 
Forget-me-not   Northern range  June–July
Phacelia Northern range, Dunraven  Pass    May–July 
Stickseed  Northern range   June–July 
Bluebells Meadows & along streams  May–July
Clematis  Mammoth/Tower area May–June 
Larkspur  Meadows, parkwide May–August 
Monkshood Moist areas, parkwide June–August
Wild iris  Northern range June 
Pasqueflower  Northern range May–June 
Aster/fleabane Parkwide May–September 

Enjoy the wildflowers, but don’t pick them. Below is some of the pictures compiled during our recent vacation to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone Flora 2Floral display 10Floral display 9

Floral display 11Floral display 20Floral display 15

Floral display 1flora 3 Floral display 17

Floral display 12Floral display 21Floral display 14

Floral display 8 Floral display 13yellowstone_flora4.JPG

 Flora 5 Flora 6Flora 7   

Floral display 19 Floral display 18  


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