History of Plant Life, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

The diverse landscapes of Utah result in a wide variety of environmental conditions in which plants may become established. This entry briefly describes the habitats and major plant communities that may be encountered in traveling from the upper mountain peaks to the lower desert valleys. In addition, brief descriptions are provided of selected, common plant species in each habitat.

ABOVE TIMBERLINE The climate of the mountain peaks of the Uinta Mountains and the Wasatch Mountains is characterized by relative dryness, abundant sunlight, and rapidly changing temperature. A few plants are found above timberline on the very highest peaks, such as Kings Peak (13,538 feet), Mount Timpanogos (11,750 feet), and Mount Nebo (11,871 feet). Timberline begins at about 11,500 feet above sea level. In general, the soils are shallow and the growing season short. In order to survive, plants growing above timberline must grow vigorously and produce viable seeds in a short time. Many of the plants above timberline have beautifully colored, dwarf, highly fragrant flowers, and the time of flowering varies among the different species. Above-timberline plants include forget-me-nots--the only known blue flower encountered above timberline; cushions of pinkish-purple moss campions; alpine avens--largest white-flower, mat-forming plant found here; bistorts--a slender swaying plant with upright spikes of white flowers that look like tufts of cotton from a distance; pale yellow or rose-purple Indian paintbrush; harebells--single dark blue, funnel-shaped flowers; mat-forming mountain dryads with eight-petaled, creamy-white flowers and scalloped leathery leaves on a woody stem; alpine willow--dwarfed, rarely growing over 2 dms (8 inches) high.
See some desert flora photos! See some mountain flora photos!
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