Montana Native Plant Society, Calypso Chapter
Calypso Chapter serves Southwest Montana including the greater Dillon - Butte - Deerlodge areas. For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 320046
Glen MT 59732
Deer Lodge MT 59722
Field Trips and Events Planned for Calypso Chapter
Sunday, May 6, 2018 “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 6th at 10:00 AM. Bring gloves and a digging tool, and lend a couple of hours to weeding out old non-native perennials and encouraging the native plantings in their fourth year. For more information, contact Catherine Cain at 406-498-6198; email@example.com.
Sunday, June 24, 2018 National Pollinator Week at Lemhi Pass. We will spend the day in this scenic area, learning the regional and cultural history, and focusing on the native flora that have had a role in that history. An idea being considered: begin a several-year project to prepare a brochure on the native flora of the Pass area that could be provided to visitors. This first visit would be to investigate what flora are there. If possible, the local pollinators would also be identified. For more information contact Catherine Cain at 406-498-6198; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday evening, June 27, 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.
Wednesday evening, Late June 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 meeting time and place, contact Debbie at 406-782-4867.
June 29 - July 1, 2018 Montana Native Plant Society Annual Meeting hosted by the Clark Fork Chapter at Cane Ridge West Camp near Lincoln, MT. See the MNPS webpage for details and registration. Members and non-members welcome.
Sunday, October 28, 2018 “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.
Sunday, December 2, 2018 Calypso Chapter Annual Meeting and Pot Luck. Come share a meal and enjoy the warmth of the season as we plan the Chapter events for 2019. Time and place to be announced.
Information on scenic/botanically interesting drives in Southwest Montana...
Vipond Park Driving Loop
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.