Wildflowers in Main Canyon Hiking Trails of Zion National Park, UT


Kind of a crazy spring, here in Zionland. First very warm. Then cooler and rainy, as in very rainy. Went down to the main canyon to see if anything was out in the lower elevations, taking the Kayenta trail to the Middle Emerald Pool, then near Weeping Rock went to one of my favorite riparian nooks. Not all that many things out, but many of the usual suspects were getting going. Also some species new to me, or at least that I had not carefully photographed previously. Six species shown here, the first four from the Kayenta trail (valley floor, 4400 feet, scattered pinon-juniper forest, sandy soils, open to the sun):

1. Utah Serviceberry (Rose family, Amelanchier utahensis) - a prolific plant in Zion park. Although, the identifying feature between it and A. alnifolia (Saskatoon) is the juiciness of the berries (according to Welch) (utahensis = dry; alnifolia = juicy), and thus... hard to tell at this point. I have enjoyed some juicy serviceberries elsewhere in the Park so, maybe...

2. Oregon Grape (Barberry family, Mahonia repens) - again, prolific, not only in Zions but throughout the western USA, no not confined to Oregon, nor a grape.

3. Zion Sweetpea (Legume family, Lathyrus zionis) - abundant in the main valley in the spring.

4. Wild Parsley (Parsley family, Cymopterus purpureus) - found scattered on our hike, but not abundant.

The last two were found in the hidden riparian area, in a northfacing shaded alcove, 4400 feet, that looked like the snow had just melted off...

5. Miners Lettuce (Purslane family, Montia perfoliata) - not common in the Park, but abundant at this location... not much light so I punched the ASA to max and got a few 'grainy' shots.

6. Golden Corydalis (Fumariaceae family, Corydalis aurea) - my first time seeing this plant, thanks to Dianne Adkins for the ID.

See the gallery for bigger/better/more pictures.