Intermountain Botany Foray

Thank you to everyone who was a part of the first annual Intermountain Botany Foray this June! What an amazing few days we had! Botanists geeking out in the UT high desert – what could be better?

This was the start of a yearly botany trip in the Intermountain region, open to plant-fans of all walks of life. Each year we will go to a different location and spend a long weekend exploring the local flora and documenting it through iNaturalist and herbarium collections. And most importantly, getting to know one another and learn from and with each other!

This year we visited the Desert Experimental Range in Millard County, Utah, a research station established in 1933 in cold desert rangeland. A huge thank you to our hosts at the Forest Service, Sarah Barga and Rob Heckman! We are so grateful to have been allowed to explore this special ecosystem!

People hiking down a mountain slope

Check out our iNaturalist page to see all the amazing things we observed. We made over 1500 iNat observations, with over 200 species of plants! Some highlights:

Sphaeralcea caespitosa is endemic to just a few counties in western Utah and eastern Nevada. The large orange blooms are a striking contrast to the glaucus desert-adapted leaves.
One of the participants spotted this Lewisia maguirei on our very first day – probably a new record for the state of Utah! 
There were many beautiful cacti, but the deciduous Micropuntia pulchella, which drops its pads every year to overwinter, was a definite favorite.
Trifolium friscanum is a rare endemic clover of the mountains in this area of Utah.

What an amazing inaugural Foray! We can’t wait for next year. If you’d like to be contacted about next year’s Foray, please email

Support for the Intermountain Botanical Foray generously provided by NSF CAREER grant 2144011.

Photos 1-3,8 @Lan Wei
Photos 4-7 @Julia Hobbie

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