Hairy Goldenaster (Hispid Goldenaster)
Synonym: Heterotheca villosa var. hispida
Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial herbs; stems 5.9” to 1.6' (1.5 to 5 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; has hairs; 0.2” to 2” (0.5 to 5 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.4” (2 to 10 mm) wide
Flowers: yellow ray flowers and yellow disk flowers; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). 10-25 yellow rays are 0.24” to 0.4” (6 to 10 mm) long
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, grassland and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Chrysopsis”, is from "chrysos" which means "golden," and “opsis” which means “bearing a resemblance or appearance” referring to the golden color of the flower heads. The genus name, “Heterotheca”, is from the Greek “hetero” meaning “different” and “theke” meaning “ovary”, referring to the unlike achenes of the ray and disk florets. The species name, “villosa”, means “soft-hairy” and refers to the gray hairs on the leaves and stems. The variety name, “hispida”, means “rough, with bristly hairs”.
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?
Landscape Arch is the longest arch in Arches National Park, measuring 306 feet from base to base. In 1991, a massive slab of rock fell from its underside, resulting in an even thinner ribbon of rock.