Plant Collections at Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden is a museum of living plants. Plants are collected for their horticultural merit, use in research and conservation, and for their historical value. Each plant is given an accession number and carefully curated within the collections. To learn about our collections and displays, please click on the corresponding images below.

Click Here for More Info on our Types of Plant Collections

Red Butte Garden has several types of plant collections and each accession falls into one or more of the following categories:

  • Arboretum: A collection of trees, held jointly on the University of Utah campus and Red Butte Garden.
  • Ecological: Plants native to Utah.
  • Ethnobotanic: Plants that have a history of use by humans.
  • Geographic: Plants with horticultural value from other states or countries that perform well in our climate.
  • Research/Conservation: Threatened, rare, and endangered species.
  • Taxonomic: Represents species, varieties, and cultivars of select taxa.

Aside from our impressive collections, we also maintain a variety of ornamental displays. Displays are plants that are not included in our curated plant collections. We do not keep the same records on them. Rather, they are used to enhance our landscape plantings. Our most noteworthy displays include: Daffodils, Miniature Bulbs, and Succulents.

Conifer Collection

Conifers are woody plants that bear cones. They range in size from the tallest tree in the world (Sequoia sempervirens or Coast Redwood) to small dwarf varieties. Conifers are also among the oldest known trees, with Methuselah, a Bristlecone Pine from California, estimated to be around 5,000 years old. Most conifers are recognized by their needle-like foliage and are often described as evergreens, however, some varieties such as Larches and Bald Cypress, are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall.

At Red Butte Garden, the purpose of our Conifer Collection is to display a wide variety of conifer and other gymnosperm taxa emphasizing the diversity of size, form, color, and texture and to showcase the assortment of conifers available for use in the home landscape.

As we continue to expand and diversify our collection, we seek to increase the diversity of Utah native species, water-wise species, unusual or rare forms, and miniature and dwarf varieties.

Red Butte Garden has been designated as a conifer reference garden by the American Conifer Society. We were selected because of an exceptional collection of coniferous taxa and a continuing commitment to their display and preservation. As of 2017, Red Butte Garden is home to 216 different conifer taxa.

Red Butte Garden - American Conifer Society Member since 2017

Click here to view our Conifer Collection

Ornamental Grass Collection

At Red Butte Garden, the purpose of our Ornamental Grass Collection is to display a wide variety of non-invasive ornamental grasses and grass-like plants, emphasizing the diversity of taxa, size, form, color, and texture.

As we continue to expand and diversify our collection, we seek to increase the diversity of genera, species, varieties, and cultivars that demonstrate the variety or ornamental grasses available for the home landscape and how they perform in our region.

Click here to view our Ornamental Grass Collection


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