Beargrass blooms in Glacier National Park

By | June 26, 2013

Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) is a common wildflower found in Glacier National Park and this year has produced prolific blossoms, especially near park headquarters on the west-side of the park. Beargrass is not a grass, but a member of the Melanthiaceae family (recently split from the lily family). The plant is native to Montana, but can also be found in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains throughout the Pacific Northwest, extending from British Columbia to northern California and eastward to Alberta and northwestern Wyoming. Beargrass can grow up to five feet in height with long and wiry, grass-like basal leaves at the base of the stalk and a cluster of small, dense white flowers at the top. Bears do not eat the plant, but they will use leaves as denning material. Sheep, deer, elk, and goats are known to eat beargrass.  Read the full story here.