Montana State Flower
Bitterroot was designated the official Montana State Flower in 1895. Montana was one of many states to adopt an official flower as part of the “National Garland of Flowers” at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Bitterroot grows in the sagebrush plains and foothills of the state’s western and south central mountains. The plant’s rubbery textured foliage grows close to the ground. Bitterroot’s multi-petaled blossoms are generally purplish-pink in color, though other shades ranging from white to deep pink may also be found.
Several major geographic features in Montana owe their names to the hardy, low-growing perennial. These include the Bitterroot Valley, the Bitterroot River, and the Bitterroot Mountains that form a divide between Idaho and Montana. Cyclists love the Bitterroot Trail, a 50-mile paved path that parallels the base of the mountains between Missoula and Hamilton. With quaint towns tucked along the way, it’s a great way for both residents and visitors to experience the wonder and adventure of the “Treasure State.”
Common Name: Bitterroot
Scientific Name: Lewisia rediviva
Year Adopted: 1895
Peak Bloom: May to June
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