The Utah State Flower is the Sego Lily because it is an amazing flower. When the Pioneers first arrived in Utah, it was late in the planting season. After planting, and a successful start to the crops, Mormon Crickets descended devouring entire fields of crops. The next Spring, the Pioneers’ food started running out. The Pioneers were facing starvation. The situation was dire for these settlers. But, there were thousands of beautiful white flowers blooming in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. They learned from the Native Americans that the bulb of this flower could be eaten. The settlers would gather the flowers and roast the bulbs or grind the bulbs into a porridge. This saved the settlers’ lives and allowed those early settlers to begin the formation of the state of Utah. That’s why the Sego Lily is the desert flower that saved the Utah pioneers. (Information from KSL.com at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=359&sid=21350129)
The Sego Lily is an interesting flower. It is a beautiful lily, but only grows in really, really well drained and sandy soil. It’s cold hardy, but doesn’t need any water during the summer – and is really rare. I’ve lived in Utah for 35 years, and I have only seen one in the wild. The bulb actually sends out retractor roots to bury itself lower into the soil. The flower is a delicate, tulip shaped flower with three creamy white petals with bright centers. (Information from Pioneers: Utah’s Online Library at http://pioneer.utah.gov/research/utah_symbols/documents/SegoLily.pdf)
If a Sego Lily is found in the wild, it should be left there. They are very difficult to grow and are very rare. The University of Utah tried transplanting 10,000 bulbs in 1979 and none were able to survive to the second year. (Information from Goggle News at https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=336&dat=19790108&id=qtxSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=V4ADAAAAIBAJ&pg=5276,2545144&hl=en)
I thought making some Sego Lily hair clips would be a fun way to teach my children about the history of the Sego Lily. This craft is designed for middle grade elementary aged children and their grown-ups.
Sego Lily Hair Clips
One white felt square
Sego Lily Template, available here
Gold spray glitter
Silver spray glitter
Hot glue gun
How to make a Sego Lily Hair Clip
Step 1: Print out the Sego Lily template and copy it to cardboard or other stiff paper. Cut the template out. Also, plug in the hot glue gun so it’s ready to use later.
Step 2: Trace the template onto the white felt as many times as desired. We made three different sizes of the hair clips – single flower, double flower, and triple flower.
Step 3: Cut the flowers from the felt on top of the traced line.
Step 4: Thread the needle with 12 inches of fishing line.
Step 5: Fold a petal in half and slide it onto the needle. Pull it through the petals. Repeat with the other two petals. Tie off the line as tightly as possible.
Step 6: Using the gold spray glitter, spray the very center of each flower.
Step 7: Using the silver spray glitter, spray the tips of each petal
Repeat Steps 5 through 7 making sure to thread each additional flower on the same fishing line. All flowers for one hair clip should end up on the same fishing line. Do not trim the fishing line at this point.
Step 8: Arrange the flowers for the hair clip and glue them together at their bases with the hot glue. Be sure the fishing line is still accessible.
Step 9: Dot hot glue onto the hair clip and adhere the flowers.
Step 10: Tie the flowers onto the hair clip using the fishing line. Weave the fishing line around the flowers at least two times horizontally and vertically. Tie the line off.
Step 11: Dot a small amount of hot glue directly onto the back of the hair clip where the fishing line is wrapped. Be sure the ends of the fishing line are pulled across the hot glue. Cover with the small strip of white felt. Trim the ends of the fishing line to hide under the felt. Trim the felt to match the shape of the hair clip.
Step 12:Cut a small strip of felt large enough to cover where the fishing line is wrapped around the hair clip.
The result is a beautiful hair clip – showcasing a flower that saved many lives.
This blog post is part of a blog hop put on by Playground Parkbench. It features bloggers from all around the world showcasing their state or national flower in a fun activity. Please join us in Touring the World by Flower!