Bear grass is found in open forests and meadows at higher elevations in the western United States. It is usually found under alpine larch and white pine stands on cold side of the mountain at upper timberlines.
It is one of the first plants to grow back after a fire.
Native Americans in Idaho, Washington , Montana , and British Columbia have traditionally made beautiful baskets with the stems and leaves of beargrass. When I say leaves, I mean the grass at the base of the plant..It kind of reminds me of a Yucca with a different texture. When the leaves are dried in the sun for making baskets, they turn a creamy white. When mixed with other materials of different colors, like cattails or dyed reeds beautiful designs are woven into the baskets. I took this picture high up the mountains above Spirit Lake Idaho.
A few weeks ago We stopped at a Art/Craft show in Cataldo Idaho. There was a woman there with the most beautiful baskets woven out of bear grass. It is truly an art form. Wish I had a picture of her baskets as well but I dont..