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A September to Remember

Submitted: Sept. 1, 2022, 4:52 p.m.
By: Heidi Simper, Assistant Curator of Plant Records

September marks the beginning of the end of Summer, with Fall right around the corner. Come visit Red Butte Garden and witness the transition from Summer to Fall. It's quite the show, and not one that you will soon forget.


Dakota Sunshine Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani 'Dakota Sunshine')

Nothing puts a smile on my face like sunflowers flowing in the breeze. These ones can be seen swaying in the Water Conservation Garden.


Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis)

This is the flower of one of our Native grasses. The tiny things dangling are the anthers.


Mango Popsicle Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle')

Be careful of seeing these flowers in the Water Conservation Garden. They may leave you wanting a popsicle.


Cactus Apple (Opuntia engelmannii)

Oh my! What big fruit you have! They can be seen in the Water Conservation Garden.


Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)

This photo was taken mid-day, and so the flowers are closed. The white flowers are large, showy, and open late afternoon and close the next morning. They are pollinated at night by Hawkmoths. The Hawkmoths are interesting to watch. They hover over the flower and unfurl a very long proboscis into the floral tube to get the nectar. The spiky round fruit you see hold its seeds. All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the seeds and flowers. They are considered toxic, narcotic, and hallucinogenic. The hallucinogenic properties have been known since before recorded history. The plant is important ceremonially and considered sacred to Native American tribes. They use it for its medicinal and hallucinogenic properties.

Don't let summer pass you by without a visit to the Garden.

Photos by, Heidi M. Simper