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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?

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Once feared of becoming extinct, desert bighorn sheep are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to reintroduction efforts by the National Park Service. There are roughly 50 sheep in Arches, though their shy nature keeps them well-hidden from most visitors. More...