Utah Weeds and Wildflowers
High Mountain Gardens
For a short time in the summer the flowers are profuse here in these high mountain areas. The dry hillsides are covered with sunflowers, lupine and paintbrush. The moister meadows have fireweed, larkspur and columbine. In boggy areas and along the small streams are monkeyflowers, elephanthead and bog orchids. Many other species can be found -- some are listed on the right-hand side of this page, and may be viewed by clicking on the links. Some of the species occur only here in the higher mountains. Others can also be seen further down the canyon and on the foothills -- but they would bloom there earlier in the year.
The trees which are most commonly found at this high elevation are Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and limber pine. Those growing in exposed places often have very unsymmetrical straggly branches, usually much more sparse on one side of the tree as compared to the opposite side. It is apparent that they have been shaped by the wind and snow of winter.
The best time to visit this area is during July and August. You will probably find different flowers each time you come.
These photos were taken to help me remember the plants from one year to the next. The flowers bloom for only a short time each year, and every year I would forget many of the names before it was time for them to bloom again. Making these "flash cards" has helped me, and I hope that having them available on the web will be an aid to others.
by Sandra Bray