The Delicate Arch Viewpoint Road is closed. All other roads and trails remain open, but many trails are snowy, icy, and dangerous. Please inquire at the visitor center for the most up-to-date conditions.
Construction Update - 11/25/2013
Construction work continues at the Devils Garden parking lot, limiting parking and causing occasional delays. Visitors can avoid the area by turning around at Sand Dune Arch. More »
Family: Asclepiadaceae - Milkweed Family
Perennial herbs; 3.9” to 1' (1 to 3 dm) tall
Leaves: opposite; simple; broad leaves 0.8” to 4.6” (2 to 11.5 cm) long, 0.6” to 4.4” (1.5 to 11 cm) wide; no hairs
Flowers: large greenish-yellow umbellate flowers; petals curled backward; 5 petals; rose colored 5 lobed crown (corona) present between the corolla and the stamens; lobes 0.4” to 0.6” (10 to 15 mm) long; flowers perfect; 5 sepals; 5 stamens; 2 carpels
Pollinators: other species of Asclepias are pollinated by insects (specifically bees, moths and butterflies)
Fruits: 2 follicles
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: Delicate Arch Viewpoint trail
Other: The genus name, “Asclepias”, refers to “Asklepios”, a Greek physician and an authority on the medicinal use of plants and who according to Greek Myth could bring the dead to life. Hades fearing a loss of employment, convinced his brother Zeus to kill Asklepios with a bolt of lightning. The species name, “cryptoceras”, is from “cryptos” which means "hidden" and “keras” which means "horn or antlers".
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.