Zion Kolob Terrace Road Wildflower Identification
Memorial Day weekend. Zion is PACKED! I'm chillin, but decide to go for a flowerwalk. The wait at the East Entrance is 25 minutes... I wanted to do the main canyon to look for hanging garden flowers, but there was no parking to be found so I ran away to the KT Road, hoping to get some good cactus shots.
SCORE! Right Fork Trailhead: Three classic cacti in-bloom up there. Including the Whipple Cholla, which I had only seen (in the Park) as a landscaping plant in the valley bottom (and wondered at them using a non-native plant for landscaping). OK, it is a native. I give.
The other thing to note: it has been a very, very good year for grass. Mostly cheat-grass, I assume, as (I am told) the native grasses mature in the fall, and the grass is all seed-headed and drying out. As in, a LOT of grass. The Park is very green. Enough so to cover up and shade out the wildflowers. Perhaps I over-interpret, but I am a native-wildflower loyalist.
Anyway, I hit the Right Fork Trailhead, then Grapevine Springs Trailhead, then the Wildcat Cyn Trailhead. I drove up to Lava Point but not much was poppin' (except flies) so I took a few quick pics, then headed home (not through the Park).
Saw a few plants I had not seen before. Seen = noticed, sometimes = photographed, ID'd and written up. Thanks to Derrick for working the troublesome IDs, as usual. New plants are: the Cholla as above; Eriodictyon angustifolium, Narrowleaf Yerba Santa, an abundant bush at the Grapevine Trailhead; Prunus virginiana melanocarpa, Western Chokecherry, a small, weedy tree taking over the dry meadow near the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead; the Hackelia patens, Spotted Stickseed, a lovely small blue flower found around the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead; and Senecio integerrimus, Lambstongue senecio, the one flower I shot up at Lava Point.
Another fine day out in the Park...