Grass grows above sagebrush
Sagebrush-steppe occurs in the northern range in Yellowstone.



This vegetation type occurs in the northern range; in Hayden, Pelican, and Madison valleys; on Swan Lake Flats; and along many of the rivers and creeks. Mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana) dominates, along with several other kinds of sagebrush. Several grass species, such as Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), also dominate sagebrush-stepper. Other species found in sagebrush-steppe include mountain brome, needlegrasses, yampah, sticky geranium, and several species of upland sedges. The northern range can be spectacular with these wildflowers in late June and early July.

In 2015, a long-term sagebrush-steppe monitoring program was initiated to track the changes in plant cover and species composition over many years with an emphasis on invasive species. Data loggers will be used to assist staff with correlating any changes in the vegetation with climate change

Wetlands growing along the edge of a lake, with mountains visible in the background.


Yellowstone’s wetlands include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, seeps, marshes, fens, wet meadows, forested wetlands, and hydrothermal pools.

Grasses growing and dead trees standing in a watery meadow.

Hydrothermal Plant Communities

Fascinating and unique plant communities have developed in the expanses of thermally heated ground.

Alpine scene showing trees, grasses, and distant mountains.

Vegetation & Resources Management Branch

Park employees who inventory, monitor, manage, and research the vast array of plant communities in the park.

Elk graze across a grassy hillside while a forest grows on the mountain-side beyond.


Spring is a time for plant growth, fueling the return of many migratory species.

Last updated: August 7, 2019

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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