On this cold wintery day, I like nothing better than settling down into an a comfy armchair, crank up Google, and pick a North American destination and start looking around. Today's trip is the State of Utah.
State wildflower societies provide invaluable and extensive information on native flora, including threatened and endangered plants. I'm always amazed by the beautiful plants that I find on these virtual trips, it seems that much of the North American flora is ignored. There was a time when I belonged to numerous State wildflower organizations, well worth the small annual dues for the wealth of information they offer, and simply to support their valiant efforts in education and preserving our native flora. Some wildflowers organizations even run their own seed exchanges.
The Utah Native Plant Society has a strong web presence filled with useful information and tantalizing native plants. And just to add a bit of color to this mostly link-based post, under the fair use provision, I am attaching a photo of the yummy Polygala subspinosa found on the UNPS web site. Links to some pertinent National Park Service pages are also included (these can be a bit slow to load).
Comprehensive treatment on the beautiful and rare Penstemon grahamii (Graham's penstemon, Graham's beardtongue, Uinta Basin penstemon)
Cymopterus purpurascens, Apiaceae, Spring Parsley, found in Utah and other western USA states.
National Park Service page on Cymopterus purpurascens:
Asclepias macrosperma (Dwarf Milkweed, Eastwood's Milkweed)
Compact, linear crinkly leaves, intricate yellow flowers.
Amsonia tomentosa, (Tomentose Amsonia, Woolly Amsonia)
Some of these western Amsonia species are very growable, a whole different look than the more familiar types.
Polygala subspinosa (Cushion milkwort)
For more information on this one, and several other species highlighted here, use the following link:
Eriogonum bicolor (Pretty Buckwheat), pretty in pink!
Lithospermum incisum (Showy Stoneseed, Puccoon, Fringed Gromwell)
Just look at the long tubes and frilly yellow trumpets on this short beauty:
Townsendia incana (Silvery Townsendia, Silvery Townsend Daisy)
Sophora stenophylla (Silvery Sophora, Narrowleaf Necklacepod)
At 5-16" tall, this looks like a most handsome low perennial with lavender to blue flowers, and beautifully dissected foliage.
Salazaria mexicana (Paperbag bush, Bladder-sage, or Mexican bladdersage)
With common names like that, you have to check out this amusing and amazing desert shrub in the Labiatae or Lamiaceae.
Happy botanizing :D