Family: Asteraceae (A UtahFlora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Shrubs; 7.9” to 9.8' (2 to 30 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; entire; 0.24” to 4” (0.6 to 10 cm) long, 0.02” to 0.4” (0.5 to 10 mm) wide
Flowers: discoid; 2 to10 yellow disk flowers; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). Flowers are perfect, fertile; 0.24” to 0.48” (6 to 12 mm) long
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in ArchesNational Park: June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in ArchesNational Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities; thrives in alkali and heavy clay, or in sandy, gravelly soils
Location seen:CourthouseTowers, Windows, Fiery Furnace parking lot, SaltValley, park road mile 16, DevilsGarden, DevilsGarden campground
Other: The genus name, “Chrysothamnus”, is from the Greek “chrysos” meaning “golden” and “thamos” meaning “a shrub”. The species name, “nauseosus”, means “heavy-scented” referring to the smell of the leaves and the flowers.
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?
Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals at Arches. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. This odd dance might enhance their stereoscopic vision, helping them see what's looking back at them.