Utah Rare Plants
Utah is a geographic wonderland. A place where the Great Basin touches the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau descends to the Mohave Desert. The elevation ranges from above 13,000’ in the Uinta Mountains to around 2000’ along the Utah / Arizona border. The western part of the state lies in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and the eastern part of the state lies in the rain shadow of the Wasatch mountains. The lowland areas within Utah receive less than 12” of rain annually, while the Wasatch Range receives in excess of 500” of snow every winter.
It is within this unique environment that Utah nourishes over 2900 species of vascular plants. An endemic plant is a plant that only occurs within the borders of Utah. There are approximately 247 endemic plants with the borders of Utah.
It turns out there are several ways to define a rare plant, but rather than get bogged down in the details will just use the definition provided by the Rare Plant Guide .
If a plant occurs in this guide then we’ll consider the plant rare. For more information take a look at the Inventory of Sensitive Species and Ecosystems in Utah and also the Utah Native Plant Society.