"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."

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 Montana Native Plant Society, Calypso Chapter

Calypso Chapter serves Southwest Montana including the greater Dillon - Butte - Deerlodge areas. For more information, contact:

Catherine Cain

P.O. Box 320046
Glen MT 59732
(406) 498-6198


Sheila Thompson
909 Kohrs
Deer Lodge MT 59722
(406) 846-1855

Field Trips and Talks Planned for Calypso Chapter – Summer-Fall 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017 “Gardening with Natives” Workshop Jump into spring with Calypso Chapter’s 8th annual spring workshop featuring speakers on several topics, a great selection of native plants and vegetable and flower seeds for purchase, and gardening books for sale. From 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM at the Grange Hall in Divide, MT. Bring a sack lunch and water. Registration and information are available at 406-498-6198, nativeplants@montana.com.


Sunday, May 7, 2017  “Native Garden Monitoring” of the Chapter’s native garden in the median strip on Helena Avenue in Dillon (left turn at the first light on Montana Street, coming from the north) will continue throughout the summer, beginning on May 7th. Bring gloves and a digging tool, and help weed out old non-native perennials and encourage the native plantings in their fourth year. For meeting time and more information, contact Catherine Cain at 406-498-6198; nativeplants@montana.com.


Saturday, June 10, 2017 Occidental Plateau and Bluebird Flats form a moderately high park located along the Continental Divide west of Jefferson City with views into the Prickly Pear Creek Valley to the east and westward across the Boulder Batholith. Bedrock appears to be granodiorite and Elkhorn Mountains Volcanics. There are wet meadows along Cataract Creek to the west, and typical Douglas Fir-Lodge Pole forest with some Ponderosa to the east. There are some nivation depressions along the eastern side of the park. Join leader Mike Garverich, retired NRCS geologist/botanist, for this trip focusing on native plants and regional geology. We will get an early morning start and try to avoid late afternoon showers at this elevation. Hopefully the Helena-based Kelsey Chapter will be able to join us. For meeting time and place contact Mike Garverich at 406-491-0887.


Wednesday evening, June 28, 2017 Bitterroot Bonanza. Mike Garverich, retired NRCS geologist/botanist, will take us on an early evening walk into an area south of Butte crowded with the beautiful pink of our native flower Lewisia rediviva. Trip date depends on the blooming and may shift a few days. For more information and meeting time and place, contact Mike Garverich at 406-491-0887.


June 23-25, 2017 Montana Native Plant Society Annual Meeting and 30th Anniversary, Lambert, MT. See our Society’s webpage for details and registration.


Late June weekday evening TBA The beautiful blue camas (Camissa quamish) adorns Elk Park in the spring. Debbie Bishop will arrange access onto private property and lead an early evening walk where these lovely natives are particularly abundant. For more information and meeting time and place, contact Debbie at 406-782-4867.


Saturday, June 24, 2017 Calypso Classic – Vipond Park.” A botany extravaganza is the chapter’s annual trip into Vipond Park, in the Pioneer Mountains. This is one of the most beautiful high-altitude places in SW Montana accessible by passenger vehicles, and most of the wildflowers should be in full bloom. As always, be prepared for inclement weather and bring a lunch, water, bug spray, and sunscreen – and don’t forget your camera, and a hand lens and flower guide if you have them. To register and for more information, call Kriss Douglass (406-782-9060) or Jessie Salix (406-683-3749).


Late August weekday evening TBA Learn Your Grasses and WeedsRobert Pal, Associate Professor at Montana Tech, will walk the group through one or more areas in/around Butte to demonstrate and discuss the occurrence and role of our native and non-native local grasses and weeds. Specific help with identification will be emphasized. Beginners and experienced folks are welcome. For meeting place and time, contact Robert Pal at 406-496-4725; rpal@mtech.edu.


A Sunday in September or October - TBA Dyeing with Native Plants” will be an opportunity to use native plant materials to dye yarns and fabrics.  Several native dyes will be free and available at the event. Participants are also encouraged to bring in their own dye concoctions. A limited number of silk scarves will be available for purchase at the event. Come spend a morning at this season-ending Chapter event presented by Jessie Salix, Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Botanist. For meeting time and place, contact Jessie at 406-683-3749.

Information on scenic/botanically interesting drives in Southwest Montana...

Vipond Park Driving Loop

Click here for the Vipond Park plant list.

There are several special interest and plant areas on this loop. One can approach Vipond Park from the north turning at the Wise River exit and turning south on the Quartz Hill road just past Dewey. From the south, one can go to Melrose, across the tracks and river and head up Trapper Creek road. Going from this approach, one will first pass the old town of Glendale. Not much is left. The next stop is the charcoal kilns, which are being restored. Next, head up the switchbacks to Vipond Park. Look for Penstemon lemhiensis on the road cuts on the switchbacks. There is a good viewpoint to the top of the switchback to observe the glacial terrain of Canyon Creek.

Once on top, you are in Vipond Park. Pending times, one can observe fields of camas, Camassia quamash, along with numerous wet forbs; Claytonia lanceolata, Pedicularis groenlandica and more.

 Coming down from Vipond Park, look for pygmy bitterroots and fields of pasque flowers. There are abundant Calypso orchids blooming about 3.4 miles from the end of Quartz Hill road. Coming from the top, start looking in the Douglas fir zone, just after the subalpine fir zone. Look off the road by the rotten logs. They are in clumps of 30 to +40 plants. Mid to late June is ideal.

In lower elevations there is plenty to see; townsendia, bluebells, penstemons, phlox, erigerons, senecios and more. Glacier lilies are the early bloomers.

Flora changes from week to week. For the best road information, obtain a Forest Service travel plan and contact the Dillon Ranger Office at 406-683-3900 or the Wise River Ranger Office at 406-832-3178.

Gravelly Mountain Tour

Click here for the Gravelly Mountain Tour plant list.
This area is south of Ennis. Several loops can be made to access the subalpine meadows. High elevations and open meadows dominate the area. July through August are the best flora viewing months. Fields of Polygonum bistortoides, Hymenoxys grandiflora and Wyethia are abundant. A plant list is available. Rare pink Agoseris lackschewitzii and Thalictrum alpinum can be found. In early to mid July, the Forest Service leads a public tour of the area. To obtain a Forest map and more information contact the Madison Ranger District Office at 406-682-4253.

facebook Join Now!

"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."

facebook Join Now!

"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."