"...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


Interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here 









Programs and 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. It was a fun afternoon outing. Be sure to look below for more chapter activities coming up.

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

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

Here are pictures from our trip on April 9:

Kelseya in snowKelseya full bloomKelseya full bloom close up

Kelseya seekers in snowChapter members on Kelseya Hike in snow



Wednesday May 24Celebrating 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.

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

Thursday May 25, 7 p.m.Mount Helena Wildflower Walk . Following the same route used for the Celebrating Wildflowers program the day before, Bob Person and other members of the Kelsey Chapter will lead a wildflower walk and point out the most prominently blooming flowers. It's a little different every year, but we expect to see a wide variety of species. This event is co-sponsored by the Montana Discovery Foundation and the Prickly Pear Land Trust.

Summer Field Trips, TBA. Justina Dumont, Botanist for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest and Andrea Pipp, Heritage Botanist with the Montana State Library are planning some great field trips for this summer. Details will be published in the Summer Field Trip Guide and on the Kelsey Chapter page of the Montana Native Plant Society Website.

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 the Calypso chapter with 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. For meeting time and place contact Mike Garverich at 406-491-0887.

Saturday, July 15, 2017 Seeking out Orchids Hike. There are four species of orchids in the Sun River drainage. Through driving and hiking, our group will find as many as we can. The species we are likely to see are:  giant helleborine (Epipactis gigantea), Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum), Sparrow’s-egg Lady’s-slipper (C. passerinum), and round-leaved orchis (Amerorchis rotundifolia). Our group will head to the Wagner Basin Research Natural Area to first find the Epipactis, then we will have a few options to see other species. There will be some orchid populations very close to the main road, and some populations (Epipactis) will include some off-trail hiking of approximately a mile. Meet: 8:30 am at the USFS Supervisors Office (2880 Skyway Dr, Helena MT) across the street from the airport in Helena. We will be driving up along the scenic Rocky Mountain Front and the drive time will be approximately 1.5+ hours, so carpooling is encouraged as much as possible. Please bring a lunch and water; coolers will be available.  There is no size limit. Please let us know that you are coming by Wednesday July 12th.  Contact: Justina Dumont, (406) 495-3756, jdumont@fs.fed.us  or Andrea Pipp, 406-444-3019 (office), apipp@mt.gov


 Chapter Projects

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. Click here to access the database online.

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.  


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."