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Widewing Spring-parsley

Cymopterus purpurascens

Cymopterus purpurascens

Synonym: Cymopterus montanum var. purpurascens

Family: Apiaceae (A Utah Flora - Umbelliferae) - Carrot or Parsley Family

Perennial herbs from a tuberous root; 2” to 6” (5 to 15 cm) tall

Leaves: basal; compound; blades 0.48” to 2.8” (1.2 to 7 cm) long

Flowers: inflorescence of compound umbels; 5 white or pinkish to purplish petals with a green or purple midvein; 4 to 7 rays, rarely longer than 0.4" (1 cm) and mostly shorter than the involucre (the whitish papery bracts surrounding them); white filaments; purple anthers; 5 white or purple stamens

Pollinators: insects

Fruits: schizocarp; fruit 0.24” to 0.44” (6 to 11 mm) long, the wings 0.36” to 0.64” (9 to 16 mm) long; and 0.12” to 0.26” (3 to 6.5 mm) wide

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, pinyon-juniper, and sagebrush communities

Location seen: Cache Valley

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, “purpurascens”, means “becoming purple”.

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.

Often confused with Cymopterus bulbosus, which has the rays surpassing the involucre.

Did You Know?

Common Raven

The common raven displays abilities to play and problem-solve that are rare among animals. This member of the crow family is also very vocal, communicating with over a dozen sounds. Perhaps because of these qualities, ravens have achieved a certain stature in both European and Native American folklore.