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It’s time to hit the gym(nosperm)

Winter is the best time to see conifers in Red Butte Garden, so bundle up and come see some of the stately specimens.

Find information to plan your visit here. Reposted from the Red Butte Garden blog. Photos by Glenn Eurick and Jason W. Baker.

Let’s hit the—what? What’s a gymnosperm? They are a group of plants that produce seeds not enclosed within an ovary or fruit. Examples include pines, spruces, firs, ginkgos, ephedras, yews and more.

Come to the garden to explore our conifer collection with more than 1,300 individual plants and over 210 species and varieties.

Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma)

This lovely Utah native can be found in nearly every corner of the state. They are incredibly waterwise and underutilized in the home landscape.

Bluestem Jointfir (Ephedra equisetina)

Native to China, this species of Ephedra can be found in our Water Conservation Garden looking stunning at all times of the year.

Single Needle Piñon (Pinus monophylla)

Another fantastic Utah native, this pine species is the only species that produces one needle per bundle. All other pines produce needles in bundles of two, three or four.

Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies “Pendula”)

The seed-bearing cones of this species are somewhat papery and woody and range in size from four to six inches long.

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlanticaPendula”)

In early summer, the branches produce loads of cones that release their pollen into the air. Once their pollen is gone, the cones fall off.

Gray Alder (Alnus incana)

One last set of cones…wait a minute…these aren’t cones! Another Utah native, Alders produce small structures that look just like miniature conifer cones. The “cones” are actually the seed-bearing catkins (or fruit) of this birch relative.