Utah wildflowers and cacti - 2011



Crossing the Beehive State from south to north in mid late May 2011, I photographed some landscapes and plants, mainly in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park in Southern Utah. Entering the state from Nevada and Interstate 15, I headed east towards Zion NP via Utah State Route's 17 and 9. After spending half a day in Zion NP, I continued east to Mt. Carmel Junction and north via US Route 89, turning east via Utah State Route 12 and into Bryce Canyon National Park. Impressed by the spectacular vistas in Bryce Canyon, I continued east and north along Utah State Route 12. Very late in the evening, and after dark, I found a vacant motel room at the Flute Shop south of Torrey. The next day I drove to Capitol Reef National Park via Utah State Road 24. After 4-5 hours in Capitol Reef NP, I continued east and north along Utah State Road 24 to Interstate 70, then east via Green River, and then south via US Route 191 towards Moab and Arches National Park. In Arches National Park I drove around and made a minor hike to the Delicate Arch in the evening. Thereafter I returned to and spent the night in Green River (all motels in Moab were fully booked), and headed north toward Wyoming via US Route 191. Except a brief stopover at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge south of Vernal, I was mainly driving through the mid and northern parts of the state.

Situated within the Great Basin Desert region, southern Utah is a very photogenic area. With red bedrock and cliffs, hoodoos, canyons and arid vegetation, this region is probably one of the best tourist destinations in North America. As I am no botanist, some of the plants shown here may be wrongly named. In case, please e-mail and notify me.


Mariposa Lily (Calochortus flexuosus)

Howard's Evening Primrose (Oenothera howardii), Capitol Reef National Park


Pale Evening Primrose (Oenothera pallida), Capitol Reef National Park

Thickleaf Beardtongue (Penstemon pachyphyllus var. congestus), Zion National Park


Thickleaf Beardtongue, Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah Penstemon (Penstemon utahensis), Capitol Reef National Park


Utah Penstemon, Capitol Reef National Park

Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii), Capitol Reef National Park


Scarlet Gilia (Gilia aggregata), Capitol Reef National Park

Claret Cup Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus ssp. mojavensis), Capitol Reef National Park


Claret Cup Cactus

Cacti landscape, Zion National Park


Long-spined Plains Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha), Capitol Reef National Park

Probably Engelmann Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia engelmannii), Zion National Park


Engelmann Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.), Zion National Park

No spines, Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.), Zion National Park


Cactus (Opuntia sp.), Zion National Park

Utah Yucca (Yucca utahensis), Zion National Park


Plains Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha), Capitol Reef National Park

Zion Slickrock Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja scabrida), Zion National Park


Zion Slickrock Indian Paintbrush, Zion National Park

Desert Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa), Capitol Reef National Park



Could be Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), Zion National Park


Maybe New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum), Zion National Park


Prince’s Plume (Stanleya pinnata), Zion National Park

Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii), Zion National Park


Purple Sage, Zion National Park


Small-leafed Globemallow (Sphaeralcea parvifolia), Capitol Reef National Park


Small-leafed Globemallow, Capitol Reef National Park

Maybe Canadian Milkvetch (Astragalus canadensis), Zion National Park


Could be Zion Milkvetch (Astragalus zionis) or Astragalus mollissimus, Zion National Park, Utah

Maybe Utah Sweetvetch (Hedysarum boreale), Capitol Reef National Park


Utah Sweetvetch, Capitol Reef National Park

Maybe Stinking Milkvetch (Astragalus praelongus), Capitol Reef National Park


Stinking Milkvetch, Capitol Reef National Park

Zion Phlox (Phlox austromontana), Zion National Park


Long-Leaved Phlox (Phlox longifolia), Zion National Park

Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa), Capitol Reef National Park


Apache Plume, Capitol Reef National Park

Spiny Cliffbrake fern (Pellaea truncata), Zion National Park


Aster species, maybe Spreading Fleabane (Erigeron divergens), Zion National Park

Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis) on a Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Bryce Canyon National Park


Mojave Popcorn Flower (Cryptantha confertiflora), Capitol Reef National Park

Silverleaf Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), Zion National Park


Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum), Zion National Park

Bromus species, Hurrican, Utah


Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Zion National Park. State flower of Nevada

Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), Zion National Park


Blue Dicks, Zion National Park