Sweetroot Spring-parsley (Newberry's Spring-parsley)
Family: Apiaceae (A Utah Flora - Umbelliferae) - Carrot or Parsley Family
Perennial herbs from taproots; some strongly aromatic; 2.8” to 7.2” (7 to 18 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 yellow when fresh, fading to cream or greenish in age, 5 to 16 rays, outer rays are 0.4” to 1.3” (1 to 3.3 cm) long
Pollinators: other species of Cymopterus are pollinated by 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
Location seen: Windows, Fiery Furnace, Broken Arch trail
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, “newberryi”, honors the geologist John Strong Newberry (1822-1892).
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?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.