• Big Hole National Battlefield, Wisdom Montana

    Big Hole

    National Battlefield Montana

Grasses

Grassy hillside

Sagebrush and native grasses cover the hillsides at Big Hole NB.

NPS photo

For binding, tying, and lashing, cordage (rope) was made mostly from plant fibers. It was also the basic material for constructing baskets, mats, and clothing. Grasses were sometimes used for cordage, but most grasses in Nez Perce territory do not have strong fibers and so were only used for temporary purposes or in combination with other materials. Native grasses that grow in the Big Hole valley are: buckwheat (Erigonum umbellatum), foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum),Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), and mannagrass (Glyceria sp.). A few nonnative grasses that have made their way into the park include: intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium), red fescue (Festuca rubra), Timothy (Phleum pretense), and wheat (Triticum sp.).

The predominant vegetation in sagebrush steppe areas of the park is a variation of sagebrush and short grasses. Stream channels may support a lush understory of willow and other riparian plants but will rapidly graduate to more arid species, particularly farther from the mountains.

Did You Know?

Wrist ornament, Looking Glass family.

Chief Looking Glass was one of five Band Leaders who fought in the 1877 War with Husis Kute, Joseph, Tulhuulhulsuit and White Bird.