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Utah wildflower update: Floral decor in style in this Living Room

First Published      Last Updated Jun 14 2017 11:15 am

The wildflowers are moving on up into the Wasatch foothills, and many of our mountain favorites are making their debuts.

On Tuesday I hiked up to the Living Room above the University of Utah, for a quick breath of May. Several of my fellow hikers remarked on the flower display.

Arrowleaf balsamroot (one of those Plyfs) was stealing the spotlight, massing in vibrant yellow bloom along the trail and rising up the slopes in patches that glowed through the scrub oak. Sharing center stage was hot pink sweetvetch, its pea-like flowers springing up in lower clusters.

Among the supporting cast members I saw this week: Death Camas, milkvetch, bluebells, phlox, puccoon, sweet pea, cryptantha, larkspur and stickseed. Near the top of the hike was probably the most dense and attractive display of serviceberry I've seen in the Wasatch. The yellow, fragrant flowers of the purshia shrubs were waning, but a chokecherry bush was early and robust in its bloom.

(A large honeysuckle-looking shrub was smothered with pink flowers near the trailhead — but that probably shouldn't be there, so try not to enjoy it too much.)

I have seen a number of pretty white buckwheats on this trail, but those weren't ready to bloom yet. Look for those ingenues later in the season.

The hike is 2.3 miles round trip, from 5,000 to about 6,000 feet in elevation. Here is a map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LNLyCmC4YKyoaQN3-ocShpjhn8c&usp=sharing

— Erin Alberty