The Intermountain Region encompasses nearly 34 million acres of National Forest System lands (the largest in the nation). The Region covers 13 National Forests and one National Grassland within Utah, Nevada, western Wyoming, southern Idaho, and a small portion of California. Four major geographic provinces come together to form the Intermountain West: the Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Middle Rocky Mountains, and Northern Rocky Mountains.
The richness of native species and high level of endemism of its flora can be explained by the extraordinary diversity of habitats, climatic conditions, unique geology, and isolation. Our wildflower viewing sites will take you from Red-rock deserts, to lush forested meadows, to the unsurpassed flower-gems of the Alpine tundra.
Researchers find an unusual hybrid origin in a rare plant
A colorful wildflower called Christ's paintbrush is found only one place in the world, atop a southern Idaho mountain in an area only slightly larger than the Boise State University campus. The plant, whose scientific name is Castilleja christii, is not only rare, it also has a remarkable origin. Botanists first began noticing plants that did not seem to be typical Christ's paintbrush a number of years ago. Now, Boise State University graduate student Danielle Clay has found that the species developed from an unusual type of hybrid cross between two common species of paintbrush.
This is an article from the Idaho Native Plant Society's Sage Notes, December 2011, Volume 33(4).
Botrychium Treasure Hunts
On August 6 and August 20, 2011, members of the Nevada Native Plant Society visited two spring sites in the Spring Mountains, Clark County, Nevada, to search for and, hopefully, learn how to identify Botrychium species. Botrychiums, also known as moonworts, belong to the Ophioglossaceae, an ancient family of plants distantly related to modern ferns.
You Are There!
Celebrating Wildflowers will lead you on explorations of special places on our national forests and grasslands.
Rare Plant Conservation Success Stories
- Rare Plants and Alpine Vegetation of the La Sal Mountains: Studies of a Unique Ecosystem Rising Above the Arid Colorado Plateau Desert
- Uinta National Forest Introduction Program to Recover Clay Phacelia, Phacelia argillacea, One of Utah’s Most Endangered Species
Wildflower Hot Spots of the Eastern Sierra (PDF, 4.7 MB) Wildflower Hot Spots of the Eastern Sierra highlights the unique ecology, geology, and unparalleled flora along 150 miles of the Eastern Sierra corridor. Twelve wildflower sites have been selected to represent the diversity of environments that are found throughout the Eastern Sierra. Each site features directions, a map, GPS coordinates, a description of the natural history of the area, and photos. Topics you can learn about include plant rarity, disturbance processes, and the many ways people use plants. "Can You Find…?" proposes a fun challenge for you and your family. For a more in-depth look at the species found at each site, use the plant list featured in the back of this guide. Take the time to stop and smell the flowers in this extraordinary Eastern Sierra region!
Forest Visitor Guides
The Intermountain Region is compiling information and creating visitor guides for each of its forests. These guides will provide recreation information, history, a basic map and other valuable information. Visit the Intermountain Region's Forest Visitor Guides…