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Erect Gumweed

Grindelia fastigiata

Grindelia fastigiata

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?

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.