Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter
| 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:
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, will explain 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 will also look at the process, from concept to finished plate for a typical botanical drawing or painting. (This is the first of a two-part program - for info on the hands-on session, see below (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, will share 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 will be held at Montana Wild in Helena. Complete information on registration and agenda is available in the Winter Kelseya and here.
March 6, 7-9 p.m. - Lewis and Clark Library Large Meeting Room - Drawing Plants. From recording something observed 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 Member and Botanical Artist, Jane Fournier, using plant samples and basic drawing tools, will take you through some simple exercises to loosen up and highlight observation skills before drafting an accurate graphite drawing of your plant sample. No drawing experience is required, and all the necessary drawing supplies will be available if you don’t already have your own. (While this is a two-part program, attendance at the first session is not a prerequisite for the second.)
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. This 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.
Here are pictures from our trip on April 9:
Wednesday May 24 – 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. This year, students from Radley School in the Helena Valley participated on May 23 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.
|Here students study alpine bladderpod growing along a trail on Mount Helena|
The Flora of Mount Helena The Flora of Mount Helena database includes most of the nearly 300 vascular plant species found on Mount Helena. The database is maintained by the Lewis and Clark Library and updated by the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society. [Sorry - this link is broken - have requested library help - stand by.]
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, call the Montana Native Plant Society at 406-449-6586.