Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Shrubs; 3.3' to 4.9' (10 to 15 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; entire; no hairs; resin-dotted; 0.4” to 5.2” (1 to 13 cm) long, 0.12” to 0.32” (3 to 8 mm) wide
Flowers: 3 to 5 flowers per cluster; small green or white disk flowers, no ray flowers; flowers tubular and perfect; fertile
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: August, September, October
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian areas, canyon bottoms, seeps and hanging gardens
Location seen: park road mile 0 to 3, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Brickellia”, honors Dr. John Brickell (1749-1809), a physician and botanist from Savannah, Georgia. The species name, “longifolia”, means “long-leaved” and refers to the long, narrow leaves which also inspire the common name.
This family is the most advanced and complex of the dicots. The family is rich in oils and resins and is found in every part of the world, but is infrequent in the tropical rainforest. Aquatic or semi-aquatic species are also uncommon.
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.