Spring is impressive for flowers for sure. Drought resistant plants perpetuate even in the warmest summer months in the desert. Extensive moisture hails an unprecedented show of blooms this summer travel season in southeastern Utah. The most obvious and easy to identify flowers are identified in this primer. Extend your wildflower prowess and come to the desert in Moab in summer.
July through September the following flowers promise to be splendid:
The large white flowers of Sacred Datura and the Pale Evening Primrose will polka dot the desert landscapes. Locals often joke about desert popcorn in reference to Primrose scattered about in abundance. And often Moab dinner parties are planned around dusk to watch the Datura slowly open through the course of the evening.
A low shrublet-globe of yellow flower heads is the Broom Snakeweed. Native Americans used the stems for sweeping and occasionally medicinally for snakebite treatment. Kangaroo Rats eat the seeds. Then the Desert Trumpet is most remarkable for the funny, memorable, inflated stem and commonly towers 3 feet high. The yellow flowers are hardly noticeable but a favorite of butterflies.
The purple category of wildflowers contains the pale Annual Wirelettuce. The plant is a vertical mass of thin green stems. The petals have a serrated outer edge. These are the endurance flowers withstanding the harshest summer conditions, providing food for insects when many other flowers have completed the flowering cycle.
Finally in July the orange Globe Mallow blankets much of the sandy, hot, dry, open ground in the desert. This plant is drought tolerant and the colonies are useful for erosion control. They are a source of nectar for bees and grazed upon by Bighorn Sheep. Globe Mallow often re-bloom in September too.
Local guides are in tune with the spread of flowers and cactus. Usehttp://discovermoab.com/tour.htm to find a photographer led tour to compose terrific colorful blooms in the foreground of some of Moab’s most iconic scenic backdrops. Find a field guide at the Moab Information Center or Back of Beyond Books in downtown Moab. In fact a pair of Moab locals just released, “Sandstone Country Wildflowers: the Red Shoe Guide” in June 2015.