Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Utah Places: South Slope of the Uinta

Everything unique and beautiful about Ashley National Forest is characterized by this blossom. Though Sego Lillies (Chalocortus nutallii) are found throughout the west, Utah claims this one as the state flower, and for good reason. A thing of beauty and the greatest practical utility, these flowers dot the ground in season in the middle elevations. I look for them to be heaviest in sparsely covered grasslands and sagebrush areas.

Where the Sego blooms in great profusion, there look for the freedom of the hills. That ever-elusive quality may be hard to find and difficult to keep, but it is always worth finding.


Jim Cobabe said...

Yes, I have eaten Sego roots. It makes a fair meal -- not as pungent or savory as wild garlic or onions, and not quite as bland as the starchy stuff made from camas root. My biggest problem was I hated to dig those lovely flowers up -- they are the very pattern of elegant simplicity in floral design. They are rather small in Utah, so it takes thirty or forty to make a decent salad. I just felt guilty about destroying all those lovely lillies to make a meal.

Jim Cobabe said...

On the mountains of the left coast, these lillies are surrounded with many relatives of Chalocortus family - the Mariposa lillies. Many beautiful specimens, many of them like the Sego. I was never hesitant to try eating them, they were so plentiful. Segos are made precious, like gemstones, by their very rarity. I never found an orchid in the Oregon forest that gratified so much as the resplendent beauty of a full-blooming field of Segos in the Uinta.

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

The pic looks like some of the butterfly irises that we have planted in our front yard. We have several plants and they bloom often. Not many blossoms, but very lovely and delicate. I haven't tried to eat any of the bulbs, though. :-)

Jim Cobabe said...


Please, don´t eat the flowers!