• South Window

    Arches

    National Park Utah

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Purple Spring-parsley (Variable Spring-parsley)

Cymopterus purpureus

Cymopterus purpureus var. purpureus

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

Perennial herbs from taproots; some strongly aromatic; 2” to 10.4” (5 to 26 cm) tall; stems usually stout, furrowed, with hollow internodes

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, drying dark purple in age, 5 to 22 rays, rays 0.08” to 3.8”(0.2 to 9.5 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, 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, “purpureus”, means “purple” referring to the petals.

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?

Pine Tree Arch

There are over 2,000 cataloged arches in Arches National Park. In order to be considered an arch, an opening must measure at least three feet (in any direction).