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 Upcoming:
May 16, 2020. Mosses of Mt. Helena. Join Botanists Justina Dumont and Andrea Pipp on a hike to explore the mosses of Mount Helena (Helena’s city park). We’ll focus on how to to recognize them by genus, though a few species will pop up. As we hike and hunt for mosses we’ll discuss and observe their ecology, structure, and life cycles. Let’s hope for a little rain the night before so we can find them hydrated and looking their leafiest-best! Bring that hand-lens or magnifying glass so you can see some of their morphological intricacies.
When: Saturday May 16, 2020, 9:00 to noon (or beyond depending interests and weather)
Where: Meet at the main Mt. Helena trailhead/parking lot
What to bring: Hand-lens, your favorite moss book if you have one, sturdy hiking shoes, and appropriate clothing for the weather. A light rain won’t scare us off, but a heavy rain makes it hard to see them up-close with your hand-lens. Bring water and a lunch.
Questions? Call Andrea (406-439-0284) or Justina (315-380-4196).
Celebrate Wildflowers third week in May. Every year, the Helena/Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana Discovery Foundation, Prickly Pear Land Trust, and the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society host a series of events to celebrate these messengers of spring. For 2019, we undertook the following programs
- Celebrate Wildflowers in the field on Mount Helena Week of May 17, 2020:
- As the main focus, Celebrating Wildflowers hikes on Mt. Helena with 4th grade classes.These hikes are typically conducted the third week of May each year and volunteers are always needed to help out. Watch this space in April and early May for information on how to volunteer.
- A hike leader training session is held each year. This tuneup is designed for hike leaders but is open to the all MNPS members and the public.
- On the Thursday of Wildflower week the Prickly Pear Land Trust in cooperation with the Kelsey Chapter and the Montana Discovery Foundation hosts a wildflower hike for the general public on the same route as that used for the 4th graders – contact Bob Person, (email@example.com) for questions.
- All field events begin and end at the main Mount Helena trailhead.
Saturday, May 30th 2020, 9:00am to 4:00pm Keeping a Botanical Sketchbook. Botanical Artist and Kelsey Chapter member, Jane Fourniez will conduct this day-long workshop. There will be a charge of $10 per person. Registration required; limited to 8 participants
Botanical sketchbooks can serve a multitude of purposes from recording scientific information and observations to a journal of personal discoveries and adventures. Drawing plants enhances your observation skills and botanical understanding as well as strengthening recollections of the associated times and places. If you are interested in recording the wonderful plants you come across in the field, this one-day workshop will introduce you to useful botanical sketching and journaling techniques.
We’ll start with a brief overview of an approach to sketching botanical subjects then carpool to drive a short distance to a nearby forest area. We’ll spend the remainder of the morning in the field, making sketches and notes. After lunch we’ll go indoors to enhance the drawings made in the morning and cover some additional techniques useful for botanical sketching, including adding color and/or pen and ink. Bring your own sketchbook and all other art supplies will be available in the workshop. No previous drawing experience is needed.
For more information or to register, contact Jane Fournier by email or by phone at 406-459-1312.
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.
Here are pictures from our trip on April 9, 2017:
Here students study alpine bladderpod growing along a trail on Mount Helena
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 firstname.lastname@example.org