Fendler's Spring-parsley (Fendler's Cymopterus)
Cymopterus acaulis var. fendleri
Synonym: Cymopterus fendleri
Family: Apiaceae (A Utah Flora - Umbelliferae) - Carrot or Parsley Family
Perennial herbs from taproots; some strongly aromatic; 2”to 10.8” (5 to 27 cm) tall
Leaves: basal (or basal and 1 to few cauline mostly on the lower half of the stems); compound
Flowers: 5 petals; 5 sepals or lacking; small flowers in clusters (compound umbel); 5 stamens; 1 pistil; 2 styles; petals white, yellow, or purple, 6 to 9 rays, rays 0.04” to 0.52” (1 to 13 mm) long
Pollinators: insects; self-fertile
Fruits: schizocarp; flat and wide with lateral wings – splits into 2 halves, each 1 seeded
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities; often grows on sandy soil
Location seen: Windows, Fiery Furnace, Broken Arch trail, outside Arches National Park in Negro Bill Canyon
Other: The genus name, “Cymopterus”, is from the Greek “cyma” which means “wave” and “pteron” which means “wing”, referring to its fruit. The species name, “acaulis”, means “without a stem”; the variety name, “fendleri”, honors Augustus Wilhelm Fendler (1813-1883), a Prussian botanist who collected plant specimens in North America, Central America, South America, Prussia and Trinidad. Many of his American Southwest specimens were collected for botanist Asa Gray.
The family has economic importance because it contains numerous food plants, condiments, ornamentals. There are also poisonous species. Tuberous roots. The family identification depends on anatomical details of fruits and seeds.
Did You Know?
Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.