Bush Encelia (Brittlebush)
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?
In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years.