Blooming Gardner’s Yampah – Nikon D500, f10, 1/500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
While I am photographing birds I also look around for other things in nature including wildflowers when they are in bloom, everything in nature is connected and I try to be connected too when I am out in the field.
Earlier this year in July I spent some time in the Centennial Valley of southwestern Montana where I photographed this Gardner’s Yampah near Elk Lake. Gardner’s Yampah (Perideridia gairdneri) is also known as Common Yampah, western false caraway, squawroot and Gairdner’s Yampah. The umbels of these white wildflowers remind me of Queen Anne’s Lace, a non-native wildflower I used to see often in the eastern U.S..
This plant provided an important food source for many Native American tribes including the Paiute, Blackfoot and Cheyenne. Gardner’s Yampah has tuberous roots like potatoes that can be steamed, roasted, eaten fresh out of the ground, dried and ground to make a flour or it can be made into a mush.
I have my friend Eve Wills to thank for the identification of this wildflower. Eve lives in Dillon, Montana and works as a Soil Scientist. Eve and her husband Kurt Westenbarger own WalkAbout West and give guided tours throughout the most beautiful areas of the Western United States. Thanks Eve!
Life is good.