The upper stem of Parry's townsendia photographed on the slopes above Bear Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana..............July 30, 1999.
Parry's townsendia is an attractive biennial or perennial wildflower with one to several erect stems from 1-10 cm high. The herbage consists of long, soft, shaggy gray hairs on the leaves and stems. The leaves are long with narrow to broad spatulate blades tapering gradually to the long petiole. The lower leaves range from 2-4 cm long with the upper leaves narrower and shorter.
The solitary flower heads are large and showy. The cup-shaped involucre is 12-15 mm high with long, lanceolate bracts with acuminate tips. The rays are 12-18 mm long and mostly lavender to blue in color. The central disk is yellow and from 1.5-4 cm wide.
Parry's townsendia may be found on rocky mid-level to alpine slopes in the mountains.
Parry's townsendia may be found in in the Rocky Mts. from Alberta south to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. It is also found in the Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon.