While Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail and Ribbon Falls in Grand Canyon National Park, I was amazed at all the beautiful flowers appearing for Spring along the canyon. Bright pinks, purples, lavender, and yellow flowers appeared everywhere! I couldn’t help but stop and take a photo of each type of flower I came across.
I found most of these near or along streams, but some of them were right along the Bright Angel Trail. Most of these flowers have a short blooming season, so timing is everything to catch them!
Prickly Peak cactus fruits were widely used for food by Native Americans. Most of the spines were removed by sweeping piles of fruit with sagebrush branches or burning them off. This plant has numerous barbed glochids (hairs) that are easily dislodged when the plant is touched and they get stuck to the skin where they are hard to see and remove. Touching this plant is not advised.
Variation of Thistle
I had a really hard time finding any info on this specific type of flower, but my best guess is a variation of a Thistle. If anyone know the name please post it below!
Orange Globe Mallow
This plant is typically found near sagebrush on desert plains to low mountain slopes.
A.K.A Jimson Weed or Devil’s Snare, this trumpet shaped white flower has a very flowery scent, yet it is very toxic. It is not recommend to touch or eat this flower. Photo by @iBoyer.
Scarlet Monkey Flower
This four-leafed red flower is often found near the edges of creeks, and is popular among Hummingbirds.
Despite this flowers’ name, it is actually a light pink center with light white on the edges. These flowers have a floral honey scent.
Greenstem Paper Flower
When fully open the rays tent to droop downwards, and when they age they become thin, brown, and papery, hence the common name for the paper flower.
Colorado Four o’Clock
Vibrant deep purple and pink, these flowers open in late afternoon (hence the four o’ clock name) and close in the morning hours.
Pink Hedgehog Cactus Flower
The fruits of this flower are red and fleshy, therefore ground squirrels and other rodents will eat the ripe fruits. This flower is most commonly found in New Mexico, but also in Arizona.