The 39th annual Bitter Root Day is Saturday, June 8, at Hamilton's Ravalli County Museum. The little flower was called "racine amere" - bitter root (two words) by the French trappers. Meriwether Lewis brought one of the flowers back from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and it became the bitterroot (one word) with its scientific name "Lewisia Rediviva" - with Meriwether's name and the term rediviva for its ability to bloom year after year. An important plant for Native Americans, it officially became the Montana State Flower in 1895. For 39 years, the Ravalli County Museum has sponsored Bitter Root Day. Again this year, the Salish drummers and dancers will come back to their homeland from the Flathead to help celebrate the flower. Bitter Root plants will be for sale. A raffle from the People's Center at Pablo will be for two 14 inch moose-hide hand drums painted by Jordan Stasso. The day includes children's activities and two annual contests - a "Best Jerky" competition and a creative craft contest, using recycled materials.

Of course, the museum is surrounded by the Farmers Market on South 3rd and Bedford on Saturdays. Across the street at Hamilton City Hall this weekend, the Bitterroot Humane Association has their "Previously Owned Art Sale" with a special area of local artists' creations. The day starts with the Farmers Market at 9 a.m. and the Art Sale at 10 a.m. We at KLYQ don't care if you spell it Bitterroot or Bitter Root, just come and enjoy the two cultures that honor the State Flower.