By: Marlene Affeld
Snow is melting and signs of spring are everywhere. Soon pussy willows, buttercups and tansy will be in bloom. Although hard to fine, my favorite of all Montana wildflowers is the Bitterroot.
Long before 1805 when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark “discovered” the delightfully scented and eye pleasing treasure that was to become the Montana state flower, Native American Indians were utilizing the roots of the bitterroot for food and in trade. Ancient tribal lore tells how the bitterroot came to be. The legend says that the sun heard a mother’s weeping lament because she could not find food to feed her children. The sun changed her tears into the bitterroot, ensuring that she would always have food for her babies.