Beargrass, The Lily Loved By Rodents, Humans, Goats and Bears

Dec 13, 2013

Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) blooming along Glacier National Park's Iceberg Lake Trail, Montana.
Credit National Park Service

"Fieldnotes," December 15th & 16th, 2013: "Beargrass," by Lois Mason.

"Rhizomes are located just beneath the soil surface, and are responsible for housing proteins, starches and other essential nutrients for plant growth. This tiny factory assembles cord-like roots that it sends down into the soil and fibrous green stalks that it shoots to the surface. This method of self-reproduction is the plant's clever way of surviving most of the forest fires that frequent Montana. Because the rhizomes are protected by a thin layer of soil, they are able to sprout new life into the black, ashen forest floor once a fire has passed."