Utah Wildflowers – FineGardening

My name is Anna Lindquist, and I’m a personal and professional plant nerd based in the Intermountain West. I’m especially enamored with native plants and am constantly in awe of the magical vignettes created by native plant communities. Though I’ve tried my best to replicate them in gardens, I’ve found that nature always does it best. I moved to Utah two years ago and unfortunately do not currently have space to garden at my rental property, so I have had to rely even more on public lands for my nature fix. Being at the confluence of multiple eco-regions, Utah encompasses a little bit of everything. These photos showcase the beautiful diversity of plants found across the state, from the desert to the high alpine.

CalochortusEscalante desert, Pueblo land. Calochortus is a genus of bulbs native to western North America, with beautiful, intricately patterned flowers.

close up of tiny white flowers growing in sandOrobancheEscalante desert, Pueblo land. Orobanche are parasitic plants, with no leaves, taking nutrients from the host plant they attach to, and only appearing aboveground to flower.

close up of orange and purple wildflowers with mountains behindCastillejaUinta mountains, Eastern Shoshone land. Castilleja are native to western North America, with small flowers tucked between colorful, showy bracts. They are considered “hemiparasites,” meaning that while they attach to the roots of other plants to take some water and possibly nutrients, they also have leaves to photosynthesize on their own. Often difficult to cultivate in gardens, they are a beautiful part of western wild landscapes.

close up of bright yellow flowers growing over a rockEriogonumUinta Mountains, Eastern Shoshone land. Eriogonum, also called wild buckwheats, are fantastic garden plants for dry western gardens, thriving in very arid conditions and producing many clusters of showy flowers, usually in shades of yellow.

view of hills and mountains with fall foliageAspens and maples in their autumn glory—Wasatch Front, Eastern Shoshone and Goshute land. One of the displays of nature that gardens can never come close to matching is fall color at its finest.

close up of bright yellow trout liliesErythronium (possibly Erythronium grandiflorum, Zones 4–9)—Wasatch Front, Eastern Shoshone and Goshute land. Also known as trout lilies, these bulbs are native to nearly every part of North America, with attractive mottled foliage and lily-like flowers.

close up of plant covered in seed heads with mountains behindRabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus) seeds—Utah west desert, Ute land. These shrubs native to the arid west have clouds of yellow flowers in the summer that then transform into these clouds of fluffy white seeds in the fall.

If you want to see more of Anna’s beautiful photography and celebration of western native plants, check out her Instagram: @anna_linden_twig


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Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

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