Caution - Parking Lot at Jewel Cave is under construction
The parking lot project is on schedule for completion this fall. There is limited RV parking. The stairs and wheelchair ramp to the visitor center are also under construction. Signage along a service road will help guide visitors to the visitor center. More »
These are just a few of the native flowers that you might see while visiting Jewel Cave National Monument. To learn more, you can get a wildflower list from a ranger at the visitor center. Remember not to pick the wildflowers you find; leave them for others to enjoy!
Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) blooms in late March to early May and is the state flower of South Dakota. This flower is sometimes seen growing through the springtime snow.
Western salsify (Tragopogon dubius), also known as goatsbeard or yellow salsify, flowers in late May to July. It is zealously eaten by wildlife. When salsify gets ready to seed, it looks like a giant dandelion.
Gunnison's mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii) is one of the many species of lily found at Jewel Cave National Monument. They flower in June to early August. The bulbs of this plant were used as food by the Cheyenne.
The pale-purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida var. angustifolia) was often used as an anesthetic by Native Americans. The roots or immature heads were chewed to suppress thirst as well. The flowers bloom in June through July.
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is also known as horsemint or beebalm, and blooms in July through August. The leaves of wild bergamot were used by Native Americans in vapor treatments for colds.
Wavyleaf thistle (Cirsium undulatum) is one of the few native thistles at Jewel Cave National Monument. The flowers bloom in June through July, and attract many species of butterflies.
Did You Know?
From the elevator entrance, it takes over 11 hours for explorers to reach unexplored sections at the end of Jewel Cave. Some survey trips require cavers to remain underground for up to 4 days.