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

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Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter

Kelseya uniflora in bloom
 Kelseya uniflora, the mascot plant of the Montana Native Plant Society, is named for its discoverer, Francis Kelsey, namesake of the Kelsey Chapter. (Peter Lesica photo)

 The Kelsey Chapter serves native plant enthusiasts in the greater Helena area.

 Bob Person, can help with contacts and organization. Members who want to organize a program or activity may contact Bob as well.


Interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here 










Programs and Activities:

April 11, 6:30pm, Lewis & Clark Library - Seed: The Untold Story. Come join the Kelsey Chapter of the Native Plant Society for a free night at the movies with popcorn!  This event is open to everyone and is appropriate for all ages, so bring a friend!

SEED: The Untold Story is a documentary that is as entertaining as it is informative. Seeds are vital to our life creating nourishment and self-sufficiency.  With the advent of modern farming, biotech chemical corporations control a majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, and lawyers.  This eye-opening film explores the connections among seeds, life, genetically modified organism (GMO), biodiversity, self-sufficient communities, and agriculture.

This movie is a special showing made possible by Collective Eye Films and our local chapter of the Native Plant Society.  Gather at 6:30pm with the movie beginning about 6:45pm at the Lewis and Clark Library.

Reports on Recent Activities

Kelseya uniflora Field Trip – Trout Creek Canyon Trip Report For several years, we had hoped to conduct a field trip to see the Kelseya uniflora in full bloom, but the uncertainty of spring weather has foiled our attempts. Last year, we succeeded. Six Kelsey Chapter members journeyed out to see the spring bloom in as mild spring snowstorm. Our species list, according to the Lesica rule (only blooming plants counted) was 1, Kelseya uniflora.

These three pictures show the plants in bud or just beginning to bloom on April 6, 2017.

Kelseya uniflora flower buds Kelseya uniflora early blooms Kelseya uniflora early blooms

Here are pictures from our trip on April 9, 2017:

Kelseya in snowKelseya full bloomKelseya full bloom close up

Kelseya seekers in snowChapter members on Kelseya Hike in snow



 Celebrating Wildflowers.  For 16 years the Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter has worked with the National Forest and the Montana Discovery Foundation to offer a wildflower walk for 4th graders on a designated route on Mount Helena. In 2017, students from Radley School in the Helena Valley participated with different classes coming to Mount Helena in the morning and afternoon. Kathy Martin of the Kelsey Chapter has been the Chapter's main liaison with the Forest Service and Discovery Foundation to plan this annual event which fulfills the Montana Native Plant Society education goal. Volunteers are needed each May - please plan to help out if you can. The main program for 2018 will be May 23. A hike leader tune up open to anyone will be held Tuesday evening, May 22 and a public walk on the same route will be held on Thursday evening. Watch here for more details to come.

Helena area students studying wildflowers on Mount Helena
Here students study alpine bladderpod growing along a trail on Mount Helena

February 13, 7-9 p.m. – Lewis and Clark Library Large Meeting Room - Botanical Art & Illustration. For centuries art has been an essential companion to botany as a means of communicating botanical information and aiding plant identification. In the process, botanical art has also developed as an aesthetic tradition of its own. Kelsey Chapter member and botanical artist, Jane Fournier, explained with a beatifully illustrated program how art and botany have supported each other from early times through the so called “golden age” of botanical art, and in more modern times. The program also looked at the process, from concept to finished plate for a typical botanical drawing or painting. See below for a related hands on program on March 6.


February 20, 7 – 9 p.m. Montana Wild. This year, the Montana Native Plant Society published a book of biographical sketches of botanists who first explored Montana's native plants. The book, Montana’s Pioneer Botanists: Exploring the Mountains and Prairies is destined to become a classic in this field. Columbia Falls resident and Montana Native Plant Society Board Secretary, Rachel Potter, who co-edited the book along with Peter Lesica, shared choice vignettes from the book, as well as interesting things that happened while creating this unique project with 19 authors and 32 artists and photographers. For book reviews and more, click here.

February 21 – 22. The biennial Montana Plant Conservation Conference was held in Helena. Complete information is available in the Winter Kelseya and here.

March 6, 7-9 p.m. - Lewis and Clark Library Large Meeting Room - Botanical Art - Hands On. From recording something Line drawing of a plantobserved in the field to creating a work of art, all botanical art starts with the same basic observation and drawing skills, which, by the way, can be learned by anyone. For this hands-on program, Kelsey Chapter Photo of drawing materialsMember and Botanical Artist, Jane Fournier, using plant samples and basic drawing tools, took participants through some simple exercises to loosen up and highlight observation skills before drafting an accurate graphite drawing of a plant sample.






   Chapter Projects

The Flora of Mount Helena 

The Flora of Mount Helena permanent specimen collection is housed in the Montana section at the Lewis and Clark Library in Helena. The collection is arranged alphabetically by scientific name. Nomenclature follows Dorn 1984. An index is provided that allows cross-referencing by common name and common family name. Click here for a pdf file of the species list.

The Flora of Mount Helena collection is a joint project of the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society and the Lewis and Clark Library. The Kelsey Chapter formally donated the specimen collection to the Lewis and Clark Library in 1999.

For more information about the collection or to make suggestions, contact the Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter at kelseychaptermnps@gmail.com


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."