Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) - Sunflower Family
Perennial herbs; 19.68” to 3.3' (5 to 10 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; entire or toothed; no hairs; upper leaves 0.6” to 5.2” (1.5 to 13 cm) long, 0.4” to 0.72” (10 to 18 mm) wide
Flowers: discoid; yellow disk flowers, fertile; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite); flowers are sticky; flower heads 0.5” wide
Pollinators: other Grindelia species are pollinated by insects
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: June, July, August, September, October, November
Habitat in Arches National Park: sandy terraces in desert shrub communities
Location seen: Visitor Center, Courthouse Towers, park road north of Petrified Dunes, Salt Valley
Other: The genus name, “Grindelia”, honors David Hieronymus Grindel (1776-1836) a German professor of botany at Riga, Latvia. The species name, “fastigiata”, means “with upright branches, or erect clusters of twigs or stems”.
This plant is endemic to Emery, Grand and San Juan Counties in Utah and adjacent areas in Colorado (type specimen was collected in Grand Junction, Colorado).
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.