What Is Utahs State Flower?

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What Is Utahs State Flower?

Every state in the United States boasts unique symbols that reflect its history, culture, and natural beauty. For the state of Utah, one of these cherished symbols is the Sego Lily, an elegant and resilient wildflower that holds both historical and cultural significance. In this blog, we’ll explore the Sego Lily, Utah’s state flower, and discover the deep-rooted stories and meanings it carries.

The Sego Lily: A Floral Emblem Of Utah

Scientifically known as Calochortus nuttallii, the Sego Lily is a captivating wildflower that graces the arid landscapes of Utah and neighboring regions. Characterized by its delicate, star-shaped petals and vibrant colors, the Sego Lily holds a special place in the hearts of Utahns.

Historical And Cultural Significance

  1. Pioneer History: The Sego Lily has deep historical ties to Utah’s pioneer heritage. During times of scarcity, the early Mormon pioneers turned to the Sego Lily as a source of sustenance. The flower’s bulb, when properly prepared, provided essential nutrients during times of food scarcity.
  2. Symbol of Resilience: The Sego Lily’s ability to thrive in harsh conditions is seen as a metaphor for resilience and endurance—a trait embodied by the early settlers of Utah. Its presence in the arid landscapes of the state serves as a reminder of nature’s ability to adapt and flourish even in challenging environments.
  3. Native American Culture: The Sego Lily also holds cultural significance among Native American communities in the region. It has been used for various purposes, including medicinal and ceremonial applications.
  4. Official State Flower: In 1911, the Sego Lily was designated as Utah’s official state flower, a decision that honored its historical importance and connection to the state’s identity.

Appearance And Characteristics

The Sego Lily is easily recognizable by its unique features:

  1. Flower: The flower typically boasts three large, white, or cream-colored petals with a hint of lavender or pink at the base. These petals form a star-like pattern, giving the flower a delicate and intricate appearance.
  2. Leaves: The plant features grass-like leaves that emerge from the base and provide a subtle contrast to the vibrant petals.
  3. Habitat: Sego Lilies are native to the Intermountain West region of the United States, including Utah. They thrive in dry, open areas, often gracing desert landscapes with their presence.

Appreciating The Sego Lily Today

Beyond its historical and cultural significance, the Sego Lily continues to captivate people with its beauty and symbolism. It serves as a reminder of Utah’s pioneer heritage, the strength of nature, and the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. Whether spotted in the wild or depicted in art and literature, the Sego Lily stands as an enduring emblem of Utah’s natural and cultural heritage.


The Sego Lily, Utah’s state flower, is more than just a botanical symbol—it’s a living testament to history, culture, and the enduring spirit of a region. As it graces the landscapes of Utah with its delicate blooms, it also reminds us of the intertwined stories of pioneers, Native Americans, and the remarkable flora that continues to thrive in challenging environments. The Sego Lily is a reminder that beauty, resilience, and cultural significance can all come together in a single, enchanting wildflower.

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What Is Utah’s State Flower And Why?

Crops were scarce due to a cricket infestation so settlers turned to digging up the bulbs of the Sego Lily in order to survive. Based on its historical meaning and value as well as its natural beauty, Utah legislature designated the Sego Lily as the floral emblem of the state.

Why Is The Sego Lily The Utah Flower?

The sego lily was formally designated as the Utah State Flower in 1911 chosen for its natural beauty as well as its historical significance. The lily gets its scientific name Calochortus Nuttalli, from Thomas Nuttall, a naturalist, who collected the sego lily in 1811 while traveling along the Missouri River.

What Flower Is Utah Known For?

The sego lily becomes the state flower in 1911. Sego lily season occurs in May, June and July in open sagebrush foothills and valleys and open ponderosa pine stands. Sego lilies are drought-tolerant and thrive in dry, sandy soil.

What Does Utah’s State Flower Look Like?

The sego flower resembles the tulip in its appearance, only that it has three petals ranging from white to lavender with yellow bases. Their green sepals come lance-shaped with sharp points. The original dwellers of Utah used the flower for culinary purposes.

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