After a long drive, then a long and dusty road, lies the beautiful Lytle Ranch. Lead by Professor Luis Gordillo, the students of the Plant Taxonomy class were able to spend three days at Brigham Young University’s Lytle Ranch, located thirty six miles west of St. George, across the Beaver Dam Mountains.
On September 17th-20th Professor Gordillo, assistant Jason Gibbons, and eighteen students with majors ranging from Herbology and Natural Resources, to Horticulture, Biology, and Landscape Architecture, had the opportunity to explore, research, and discover the natural oasis that Lytle Ranch provides. The students in the Plant Taxonomy class learn how to find, identify, describe, classify, and names plants. Student Kayla Christensen said this of some of her findings at the ranch, “I learned how to harvest and correctly press cacti. I also learned that their thorns are spines and not prickles.”
The students that take Plant Taxonomy do so for many different reasons. Mat Gonder said, “I am taking Plant Taxonomy because it will benefit my future as a landscape architect major by learning to identify plants and their relationship within their respective ecosystems. Going to Lytle Ranch has given me an opportunity to study the plants that thrive in a completely different ecosystem than what we are used to here in Ephraim.” Along with sunburns and more than a few stories about cacti, these students came back having learned much, and gained an appreciation about desert plant life.
Lytle Ranch is owned by Brigham Young University, but is made available to the general public through reservations on www.mlbean.byu.edu.