Mother Nature's Garden

Submitted May 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

While the cultivated gardens are showing off their palette of colors, so are the plants growing in our Natural Area. As you hike on the Natural Area's five miles of trails, take time to appreciate Mother Nature's garden of flowers all around.

Low Cryptantha    Cryptantha humilis

You'll find this beautiful white flower growing in the really rocky areas on the tops of hills.

Longleaf Phlox    Phlox longifolia

These five-petaled pink flowers dot the hillside for several weeks every spring.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot    Balsamorhiza sagittata

This native in the aster family (Asteraceae), is a sign that spring has definitely arrived. When you come across this beauty, be sure to smell its sunflower-like inflorescence. It smells just like chocolate!

Fernleaf Biscuitroot    Lomatium dissectum

Reaching several feet tall, this perennial attracts a variety of pollinators including wasps, bees, beetles, and butterflies.

Bitterbrush    Purshia tridentata

Soft yellow flowers cover this important foothill shrub. It is a major food source for Mule Deer.

Mules-ear    Wyethia amplexicaulis

Often confused with Arrowleaf Balsamroot, you can tell it apart from its cousin by looking at the leaves. Mules-ear leaves are almost elliptical, while Arrowleaf Balsamroot leaves are arrow-shaped.

Death Camas
Foothill Death Camas    Zigadenus paniculatus

From its poisonous bulb, this spring beauty sends up stiff green leaves, followed by delicate white flowers.

After your hike through the Natural Area, don't forget to meander through our cultivated gardens to take in the beauty our Red Butte horticulturists work so hard to make happen.

Photos by Jason W. Baker

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