SALT LAKE CITY — The Sego Lily is Utah’s Official State flower.
Aside from being an attractive native flower, Sego Lily bulbs, which are smaller than a walnut, were used as a food source by Latter-day Saint Pioneers.
But Sego Lilies are a rare sight — unless you know where to look.
They don’t do well in the valley’s cultivated gardens, but thrive in sunny exposed areas in the foothills of the Wasatch Front.
“We have some here that are just opening, that’s a double flower,” said Neal Dombrowski, a horticulturist at Red Butte Garden.
Dombrowski took FOX 13 to a bluff high above the part of the Garden where most visitors spend their time.
There, thousands of native Sego Lilies are blooming.
“Very low vegetation, you don’t see trees, very few shrubs, and you have an upland meadow habitat going on,” said Dombrowski, describing the area.
The bloom period for Sego Lilies is short.
“It’s generally a window of two weeks,” Dombrowski said.
This year’s bloom may be even shorter due to dry conditions and higher temperatures than usual.
To see the Sego Lilies at Red Butte Garden, one can reach them by paying admission at the visitors center and then asking for directions to Zeke’s trail which leads to the far east end of the property.
Hikers should be prepared for outdoor conditions and extreme heat.