Beargrass

Beargrass is seen on Pendant Pass in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on July 25.

Beargrass, also known as “Indian Basket Grass,” is a tall, flowering plant that blossoms in July and August.

Beargrass, a member of the lily family, typically grows to heights of five feet with a 1/2-inch thick green stalk. The plant is most commonly found in subalpine forest and on mountain ridges.

Beargrass had six-petaled cream- or white-colored flowers that form an orb-shaped, tight bunch of blossoms that emit a fragrant odor. The plant has sharp-edged, tough leaves that appear grass-like.

Beargrass grows prolifically in Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness in northwestern Montana. The plant is an important part of fire ecology because it has rhizomes that survive wildfires. These rhizomes clear dead and decaying plant matter from the forest floor.

Native Americans used beargrass to weave baskets.