Purple Wild Flowers

The purple wild flowers of Glacier National Park can be found clinging to life along a mountain pass, in fields of wildflowers congregated near Logan Pass, along riverbeds and lake shores—basically, almost anywhere you look you will spot violet wildflowers.

Below you will find images and descriptions of common purple wild flowers within Glacier National Park. Use this as a guide for wildflower identification in your travels, both before and after visiting the park. Print it out and bring the guide with you, or reminisce about your vacation by identifying wildflowers with pictures you took.

Identify Purple Wild Flowers

Purple Yellow Wildflower

Photo by Chip Phillips

The wildflowers of Glacier National Park are too numerous to describe all of them.

Therefore, I limited this guide to the more common purple wild flowers spotted in Glacier.

Wildflowers depicted in this guide are:

  • Rocky Mountain Iris
  • Calypso Orchid
  • Wild Rose
  • Fireweed
  • Wild Lupine
  • Shooting Stars

    Rocky Mountain Iris

    Iris Missouriensis


    Rocky Mountain Iris Purple Flower

    Photo by Fool On The Hill

    The Rocky Mountain Iris is a beautiful, perennial plant that blooms along riverbeds between May and September. Native to America, its purple leaves that erupt at the top of a 20-50cm tall stem are elaborate and showy with a yellow center.

    Be careful! – The roots are poisonous

    Interesting Fact: Native American tribes used the plant to treat toothaches, earaches and burns.

    Wild Lupine

    Lupinus Argenteus


    Purple Wild Flowers Lupine

    Photo by Carplips

    Wild Lupines are one of the most common wildflowers in Glacier National Park. It plays an important role in Montana state history as Meriwether Lewis collected the specimen and it remains one of seven still intact in the Lewis & Clark Herbarium.

    Lupines grow from half a foot to two feet high with several branched stems. The bulbs are purple in color and found in open meadows and fields. A good spot for identifying these purple wild flowers is near Mt. Reynolds on Logan Pass.

    Interesting Fact: Blackfoot Indians used lupine as a remedy for hiccups, indigestion, and gas.

    Calypso Orchid

    Calypso Bulbosa


    Calypso Orchid Pink Wildflower

    Photo by Sundance Kid

    While not a purple wildflower, the Calypso Orchid, or Fairyslipper, is a pink wildflower that grows up to a height of 15cm. Calypso Orchids are rare flowers commonly spotted in dense forests amongst pine needles during springtime in Glacier National Park.

    It is a single flower with numerous pink petals that have purple stripes near the bottom and purple spots near the tip. There is a yellow bulb in the center with dozens of reddish needles extending downward.

    Interesting Fact: Native Americans used the Calypso Orchid as treatment for epilepsy by inserting the flowers into the mouth of a patient undergoing a seizure.

    Wild Rose

    The Wild Rose is a wildflower that has six, triangular shaped, pink/purple petals. The center is a bulb of yellow. It is found peaking its head out amongst low growing shrubbery.


    Epilobium Angustifolium


    Fireweed Purple Wild Flower

    Photo by Code Poet

    Fireweed can be found all over Glacier National Park. It derives its name from its ability to quickly infest an area wrecked by a forest fire.

    The purple flowers of this plant look like little clovers, are symmetrical, and congregate in bunches along the stem, which grows upwards of eight feet high.

    Interesting Fact: Native Americans harvested the shoots in early spring, when they are most tender. After peeling and drying, the stems are eaten raw and are a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A.

    Shooting Stars

    Lupinus Argenteus


    Purple Wild Flowers Star

    Photo by Lynn Suckow

    Shooting Stars grow in the dampest of mountain meadows. They derive their name from their purple flower shape, which begins closed and unfurls in a manner suggestive of a propelled, shooting star.More Wildflower Identification Information

    Return back to Wildflower Identification

    Yellow Wildflowers – Learn identification tips for yellow wildflowers

    Orange Wildflowers – Though rare, orange wildflowers do exist. Learn how to identify an orange wildflower

    Indian Paintbrush – All about identifying the Indian Paintbrush Wildflower, one of Glacier National Park’s more magnificent flowers.

    Or return home from Purple Wild Flowers to Glacier National Park Travel Guide

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