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U.S. Forest Service

Flowers in the Aspen Groves

Rocky Mountains, Utah

Many different wildflowers are found in the understory of aspen groves in the Rocky Mountains in Utah. Some of the more common species are the fireweed, columbine, geranium, and blue bells. On the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, a new addition to the Research Natural Areas (RNA) system has been established.

Photo Gallery

Click the thumbnail images below to see larger images of the flowers.

  • Common yarrow (<em>Achillea millefolium</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Columbian monkshood (<em>Aconitum columbianum</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Columbian monkshood (Aconitum columbianum). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Nettleleaf giant hyssop (<em>Agastache urticifolia</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Nettleleaf giant hyssop (Agastache urticifolia). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Colorado blue columbine (<em>Aquilegia caerulea</em>). Photo by A. Kratz.

    Colorado blue columbine (Aquilegia caerulea). Photo by A. Kratz.

  • Colorado blue columbine (<em>Aquilegia caerulea</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Colorado blue columbine (Aquilegia caerulea). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Yellow columbine (<em>Aquilegia flavescens</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Yellow columbine (Aquilegia flavescens). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Gunnison’s mariposa lily (<em>Calochortus gunnisonii</em>). Photo by A. Kratz.

    Gunnison’s mariposa lily (Calochortus gunnisonii). Photo by A. Kratz.

  • Small camas (<em>Camassia quamash</em>). Photo by T. Prendusi.

    Small camas (Camassia quamash). Photo by T. Prendusi.

  • Splitleaf Indian paintbrush (<em>Castilleja rhexiifolia</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Splitleaf Indian paintbrush (Castilleja rhexiifolia). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Rock clematis (<em>Clematis columbiana</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Rock clematis (Clematis columbiana). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Hairy clematis (<em>Clematis hirsutissima</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Hairy clematis (Clematis hirsutissima). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Sierra fumewort (<em>Corydalis caseana ssp. brachycarpa</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Sierra fumewort (Corydalis caseana ssp. brachycarpa). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Fireweed (<em>Epilobium angustifolium</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Stream orchid (<em>Epipactis gigantea</em>). Photo by T. Prendusi.

    Stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea). Photo by T. Prendusi.

  • Aspen fleabane (<em>Erigeron speciosus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Aspen fleabane (Erigeron speciosus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Engelmann's aster (<em>Eucephalus engelmannii</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Engelmann's aster (Eucephalus engelmannii). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Woodland strawberry (<em>Fragaria vesca</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Richardson’s geranium (<em>Geranium richardsonii</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Richardson’s geranium (Geranium richardsonii). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Sticky purple geranium (<em>Geranium viscosissimum</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Sticky purple geranium (Geranium viscosissimum). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Spotted stickseed (<em>Hackelia patens</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Spotted stickseed (Hackelia patens). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Ballhead waterleaf (<em>Hydrophyllum capitatum</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Ballhead waterleaf (Hydrophyllum capitatum). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Streambank wild hollyhock (<em>Iliamna rivularis</em>). Photo by B. Lowry.

    Streambank wild hollyhock (Iliamna rivularis). Photo by B. Lowry.

  • Bulbous woodland-star (<em>Lithophragma glabrum</em>). Photo by T. Prendusi.

    Bulbous woodland-star (Lithophragma glabrum). Photo by T. Prendusi.

  • Silvery lupine (<em>Lupinus argenteus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Silvery lupine (Lupinus argenteus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Tailcup lupine (<em>Lupinus caudatus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Tailcup lupine (Lupinus caudatus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Aspen bluebells (<em>Mertensia arizonica</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Aspen bluebells (Mertensia arizonica). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Feathery false lily of the valley (<em>Maianthemum racemosum</em>). Photo by T. Prendusi.

    Feathery false lily of the valley (Maianthemum racemosum). Photo by T. Prendusi.

  • Tall fringed bluebells (<em>Mertensia ciliata</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Tall fringed bluebells (Mertensia ciliata). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Wasatch beardtongue (<em>Penstemon cyananthus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Wasatch beardtongue (Penstemon cyananthus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Broadleaf beardtongue (<em>Penstemon platyphyllus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Broadleaf beardtongue (Penstemon platyphyllus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Towering Jacob's-ladder (<em>Polemonium foliosissimum</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Towering Jacob's-ladder (Polemonium foliosissimum). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Sticky cinquefoil (<em>Potentilla glandulosa</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Sticky cinquefoil (Potentilla glandulosa). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Slender cinquefoil (<em>Potentilla gracilis</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Chokecherry (<em>Prunus virginiana</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Nootka rose (<em>Rosa nutkana</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Woods' rose (<em>Rosa woodsii</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Woods' rose (Rosa woodsii). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Thimbleberry (<em>Rubus parviflorus</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Western coneflower (<em>Rudbeckia occidentalis</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Western coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Sambucus racemosa

    Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Red elderberry (<em>Sambucus racemosa</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Fendler’s meadow-rue (Thalictrum fendleri). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Largeleaf triteleia (<em>Triteleia grandiflora</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Largeleaf triteleia (Triteleia grandiflora). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • California false hellebore (<em>Veratrum californicum</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    California false hellebore (Veratrum californicum). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Nuttall's violet (<em>Viola nuttallii</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Nuttall's violet (Viola nuttallii). Photo by W. Padgett.

  • Marsh violet (<em>Viola palustris</em>). Photo by W. Padgett.

    Marsh violet (Viola palustris). Photo by W. Padgett.

Walter F. Mueggler – Butler Fork RNA

This addition to the Research Natural Areas (RNA) system on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest is the Walter F. Mueggler – Butler Fork RNA. It is approximately 1,270 acres in size and occurs in the central Wasatch Mountain Range of north-central Utah. The RNA is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon within the Mount Olympus Wilderness Area, southeast of Salt Lake City.

Named after the renowned aspen ecologist Walt Mueggler, this area is dominated by quaking aspen. The area has not experienced grazing in over 100 years, which is very uncommon in this portion of Utah, and shows no impacts from any historical uses. The rich herbaceous undergrowth truly represents the potential of aspen communities throughout northern Utah and adjacent Rocky Mountains states.

quaking aspen forest in the Walter F. Mueggler - Butler Fork Research Natural Area. Scene from the Walter F. Mueggler - Butler Fork RNA, Utah. Photo by Wayne Padgett.

quaking aspen forest in the Walter F. Mueggler - Butler Fork Research Natural Area. Scene from the Walter F. Mueggler - Butler Fork RNA, Utah. Photo by Wayne Padgett.

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