Wildflowers of the Black Hills
Written by and Photographed by Marcus Heerdt
August 26, 2019

Wildflowers of the Black Hills

There is never a lack of wildflowers growing throughout the Black Hills in Spring and Summer. The following pictures are of wildflowers I have come across and photographed while hiking in the region.

Pasqueflower near Hell Canyon
One of the first flowers to bloom in the area are Pasqueflowers, the state flower of South Dakota. These usually are seen April – June in the prairies and meadows of the Black Hills. Pasqueflowers also are found in Wisconsin, Alaska, and Eurasia. They can be poisonous!

Wood lily in Griffis Canyon
This flower can be found in meadows and open slopes near limestone. Other common names for this flower are wild lily and tiger lily. Wood lilies can also be found in New Hampshire, Iowa, and New Mexico. According to the book Plants of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains, the Dakota Native Americans “applied a mixture of pulverized and chewed wood lily flowers to poisonous spider bites to relieve pain and swelling.

Gunnison’s mariposa lily near Bear Mountain
These flowers can be seen June-August in open pine forests, upland meadows, and limestone outcrops of the Black Hills. These flowers also grow in Montana, Nebraska, and Arizona.

Wild lupine in Stone Quarry Canyon
These flowers can be found in the American South and mountainous areas of the North. They can be multiple different colors like red, yellow, pink, and white.

Blanket flower near Bear Mountain
This flower can be seen from late June-August in anywhere from low to high elevations in the meadows in limestone areas. It is also known as gaillardia. This flower can also be found in British Columbia, Oregon, and Minnesota. The Blackfeet Native Americans used this flower to treat an upset stomach.

A big thank you to the South Dakota State University Extension Office for helping with identifying some of the flowers and the book Plants of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains by Gary E. Larson and James R. Johnson.

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