By Lauren Rieschel

Explore Big Sky Editorial Assistant

Montana is known for its beautiful scenery, and few things exemplify that more than the wildflowers that can be spotted on hiking trails during the summer. Below are some facts and details of the more common flowers that can be found on Big Sky’s Ousel Falls Trail.


Silvery Lupine

Lupinus argenteus

Family: Pea family

Season: May – August

Trivia: With its bold, spiked lavender-blue flowers, Silvery Lupine is an iconic wildflower in the West. There are at least 10 different species of Lupinus in Montana. However, the plants, and particularly the seeds, can be toxic if ingested.


Wild Rose/Wood’s Rose

Rosa woodsii

Family: Rose family

Season: June – August

Trivia: The rose hips left on the plant during the colder months provide an important vitamin-rich food source for animals and are also used in a variety of teas to help prevent colds or influenza.


Mountain Harebell

Campanula rotundifolia

Family: Bellflower family

Season: June – September

Trivia: Traditionally linked to fairies and magic, the mountain harebell’s name originates in English and Scottish folklore that said that witches squeezed the juice from the flowers and used it to turn themselves into hares.


Indian Paintbrush

Castilleja linariifolia

Family: figwort family

Season: May – September

Trivia: A well-known flower here in Montana and the state flower of Wyoming, most of the Indian paintbrushes have already bloomed in lower altitudes this year, but they can still be found at higher elevations. Its flowers are edible, and the long white corolla tube can be pulled out to eat the sweet nectar at the bottom.