There are many wonders at Mount Rushmore besides the four presidents carved on the mountain. Take a walk along the trails and see nature's beauty. Below are photos of some of the more common wildflowers you might see along with descriptions of traditional uses for them.

Close up photo of a blanket flower with red petals tipped with yellow.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)

Blooms late June – August
Uses: American Indians used this flower as a poultice to treat skin disorders, to make eyewash, nose drops, foot wash, and the flower heads were rubbed on rawhide bags for waterproofing.

Close up photo of a false dandelion with yellow petals.

False Dandelion (Agoseris glauca)

Blooms June – August
Uses: This plant produces a sap which American Indians chewed to clean their teeth.

Photo of the purple flowers of smooth beardtongue.

Smooth Beardtongue (Penstemon glaber)

Blooms Late May – July
Uses: Several tribes used the leaves of this plant to treat snakebites and cramps.

Close up photo of a wild blue flax flower with a small yellow center.

Wild Blue Flax (Linum lewisii)

Blooms: June – August
Uses: Many American Indian tribes used the seeds of this plant to flavor their food and the flower heads to make eyewash.

Photo of numerous purple prairie clover blossoms.

Purple Prairie Clover (Petalostemum purpureus)

Blooms: June - August
Uses: Plains Indian tribes chewed the peeled roots of this plant like gum and used the plant to make tea.

Photo of flower head of purple coneflower, with daisy like petals and a reddish-brown seed head.

Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea angustifolia)

Blooms: June - July
Uses: This plant was a mainstay for American Indians. They used it to treat headaches, stomach aches, sore throats and snakebites.

Photo of the pink flower of wild bergamot.

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Blooms: June - August
Uses: American Indians used this plant to make a tea to treat colds. Bergamot is still used in tea blends today.

Close up photo of purple woolly vervain flower heads.

Wooly Vervain (Verbena stricta)

Blooms: July - September
Uses: Many American Indian tribes made a tea out of this plant for enjoyment and to treat stomach problems.

Close up photo of an annual sunflower with bright yellow petals and golden brown center.

Annual Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Blooms: Late July – September
Uses: Some Plains Indian tribes cultivated sunflowers for their seeds which can be eaten raw, roasted, or boiled.

Close up photo of a prairie coneflower with yellow petals and brown seed head.

Prairie Cone Flower (Ratibida columnifera)

Blooms: July – September
Uses: Many American Indian tribes made a tea to treat headaches and used the yellow petals to make dye.

Last updated: December 28, 2017

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Mailing Address:

13000 Highway 244
Building 31, Suite 1

Keystone, SD 57751


(605) 574-2523
Park information. Phones are answered 7 days a week. Hours are 8:00 - 5:00 October through May, 8:00 - 10:00 June through mid-August and 8:00 - 9:00 mid-August through September. All times are Mountain Time.

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