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|Grand Teton National Park|
Trees & Wildflowers
Grand Teton National Park contains some 700 species of trees and higher plants. These include many beautiful trees in forests in the park, including cottonwoods, aspens, spruces, firs, and lodgepole pines.
Lodgepole Pines The lodgepole pine is one of the most numerous of trees in Grand Teton National Park, found throughout the valley and in the mountains. In fact, about 75% of the trees in the park are lodgepole pines.
The lodgepole pine grows very quickly and thrives in sunshine. The tree may grow in dense groves, as can be seen below. It is especially plentiful at the base level of the park. This particular tree was favored by Indian peoples for the building of lodges.
Existence of the lodgepole pine in a particular area indicates the occurrence of fire there in the last 200-300 years. The fire results in the exposure of bare mineral soil.
Other Trees The spruce can also be found in the park. This tree is found along a trail in the Colter Bay area.
While lodgepole pines are plentiful in much of the park, at higher altitudes there are limber pines, spruces, firs, and at 10,000 feet where the timberline exists, whitebark pines.
Aspen The aspen is one of the most beautiful trees in the park. The leaves of the aspen tree are attached to its flat stem at an angle, which causes the leaves to tremble or "quake" in a breeze.
The aspen is not only beautiful, but also, apparently, delicious, as it is a favorite food of the beaver.
The aspen needs fire to establish itself, and it is one of the first trees to colonize an area which has been denuded by fire.
In the flood plain of the Snake River, there are blue spruce, cottonwood, willows, alders, and aspens. The picture below shows a portion of the are around Oxbow Bend.
There are some 700 types of plants in Grand Teton National Park. Some of the most beautiful are the wildflowers, such as the arrowleaf balsamroot, which looks a little like a yellow daisy.
The park's wildflowers include Indian paintbrushes, monkey flowers, larkspurs, and yellow mules ear.
In the right season wildflowers can be found among the sagebrush which covers Jackson Hole.
A field of wildflowers with the Grand Tetons in background is a memorable view.
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