• South Window

    Arches

    National Park Utah

Bush Encelia (Brittlebush)

Encelia frutescens

Encelia frutescens var. frutescens

Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family

Shrubs; 11.8” to 4.9' (3 to 15 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; entire or toothed; has hairs; 0.2” to 1” (0.5 to 2.5 cm) long

Flowers: flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). Disk flowers orange to orange-yellow, 0.4” to 1.2” (1 to 3 cm) wide; rays lacking or 1-16 or more, yellow, 0.08” to 0.48” (2 to 12 mm) long

Pollinators: other Encelia species are pollinated by insects

Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell

Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June, July, August, September, October

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub communities in dry open areas

Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, West boundary of park

Other: The genus name, “Encelia”, honors Christopher Encel, a 16th century German botanist and a writer on oak-galls in 1577. The species name, “frutescens”, means “becoming shrubby”. This species is aromatic.

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?

Pinyon Pine

Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.