Despite the seemingly barren nature of the cinder cones and lava fields, spectacular floral displays occur at Craters of the Moon each spring. Peak bloom for spring wildflowers generally occurs in early to mid-June. Starting with the arrival of the wild onion in late April and ending with the disappearance of the yellow blossoms of the rabbitbrush in September, a variety of wildflowers can be found blooming within the park's boundaries. The ability to grow in this harsh environment means overcoming a lack of moisture, meager soil, and surface temperatures that exceed 150°F. Many of the unusual characteristics of the wildflowers are adaptations for survival in this extreme environment.
A checklist of common plants of Craters of the Moon is available from the visitor center.
You can also download or view the full list of plants found in the park at the bottom of the page via NPSpecies.
Plants can have multiple common names which can also vary from region to region. Scientific names and families can also change as time goes on and more is learned about a plant or group of plants. Below are some of the most common flowering plants seen in the park.
Occurrence values are defined below. One or more Occurrence Tags may be associated with each Occurrence value.
Present: Species occurs in park; current, reliable evidence available.
Probably Present: High confidence species occurs in park but current, verified evidence needed.
Unconfirmed: Species is attributed to park but evidence is weak or absent.
Not In Park: Species is not known to occur in park.
Adjacent: Species is known to occur in areas near to or contiguous with park boundaries.
False Report: Species was reported to occur within the park, but current evidence indicates the report was based on misidentification, a taxonomic concept no longer accepted, or other similar problem of error or interpretation.
Historical: Species' historical occurrence in park is documented. Assigned based on judgment as opposed to determination based on age of the most recent evidence.
Animals: May be seen daily, in suitable habitat and season, and counted in relatively large numbers.
Plants: Large number of individuals; wide ecological amplitude or occurring in habitats covering a large portion of the park.
Animals: May be seen daily, in suitable habitat and season, but not in large numbers.
Plants: Large numbers of individuals predictably occurring in commonly encountered habitats but not those covering a large portion of the park.
Animals: Likely to be seen monthly in appropriate habitat and season. May be locally common.
Plants: Few to moderate numbers of individuals; occurring either sporadically in commonly encountered habitats or in uncommon habitats.
Animals: Present, but usually seen only a few times each year.
Plants: Few individuals, usually restricted to small areas of rare habitat.
Animals: Occurs in the park at least once every few years, varying in numbers, but not necessarily every year.
Plants: Abundance variable from year to year (e.g., desert plants).
Unknown: Abundance unknown
Native: Species naturally occurs in park or region.
Non-native: Species occurs on park lands as a result of deliberate or accidental human activities.
Unknown: Nativeness status is unknown or ambiguous.
The Checklist contains only those species that are designated as "present" or "probably present" in the park.
The Full List includes all the checklist species in addition to species that are unconfirmed, historically detected, or incorrectly reported as being found in the park. The full list also contains species that are "in review" because their status in the park hasn't been fully determined. Additional details about the status of each species is included in the full list.
The checklist will almost always contain fewer species than the full list.