Vascular Flora

From the mouth of Red Butte Canyon at about 1530 m (5020 ft), its walls rise to their highest point - 2510 m (8235 ft) - at the head of Knowltons Fork inthe northeast corner of the canyon. Within this modest rise of 980 m (3215 ft) occur four distinct plant communities: riparian, grass-forb, oak-maple, and coniferous. Pinñon-juniper and ponderosa pine communities, which often occur in this elevational range in Utah (Daubenmire 1943), are not present in Red Butte Canyon. Billings (1951, 1990), in discussions of vegetational zonation in the Great Basin, cites a greater incidence of winter cyclonic storms and slightly more moist summers as factors producing the variation in the vegetative zones of the eastern boundary of the Great Basin. Juniper is present in the central Wasatch Range, but only three Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) are known to exist in Red Button Canyon: a mature tree with a 0.5 m (1.6 ft) diameter trunk, located on the south slope of Parleys Fork and nearly obscured by the more mesophytic vegetation, and two shrublike plants 1 - 1.3 m (3 - 4 ft) tall growing on the southwest divide.

With few exceptions, notably the naturalized grasses Agrostis stolonifera (redtop bentgrass), Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), and Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass), only the most common indigenous plants that occur in the various plant communities are listed below, primarily because the presence of introduced plants is usually dependent on disturbance and tends to fluctuate accordingly. Some of the more frequently occurring introduced plants are listed in a separate section.

More on Vascular Flora

Riparian Community
Grass-forb Community
Oak-maple Community
Coniferous Community
Endemic and Introduced Plants
Floristic Diversity