Erigeron utahensis var. utahensis
Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial herbs, some shrubs; stems 4” to 2' (10 to 60 cm) tall
Leaves: basal and upper leaves alternate; simple; 0.6” to 4” (1.5 to 10 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.24” (1 to 6 mm) wide
Flowers: 10 to 40 blue, pink, or white ray flowers 0.16” to 0.72” (4 to 18 mm) long, 0.04” to 0.108” (1 to 2.7 mm) wide; yellowish disk flowers; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite)
Pollinators: other Erigeron species are pollinated by bees, moths and butterflies
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, Moab Fault overlook, Fiery Furnace, Winter Camp wash
Other: The genus name, “Erigeron”, is from Greek “eri” which means “early” and “geron” which means “old man” because this plant blooms early in the year and the seed's bristles resembles an old man's gray hair. The species name, “utahensis”, means “of or from Utah” in recognition that the type specimen was collected near Kanab, Utah.
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?
Native Americans never inhabited Arches on a year-round basis, though they certainly roamed the area searching for wild game, useful plants and rocks for tool-making. Petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch are thought to have been created by Indians from the Ute/Paiute cultures. More...