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Thrifty Goldenweed (Ring Grass)
Haplopappus armerioides var. armerioides
Synonym: Stenotus armerioides
Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial herbs; stems 0.2” to 8” (0.5 to 20 cm) tall
Leaves: mainly basal and alternate reduced leaves upwards; simple; entire or merely toothed to sometimes cleft or even bipinnatifid; has hairs; basal leaves are 0.6” to 3.2” (1.5 to 8 cm) long, 0.06” to 0.4” (1.5 to 10 mm) wide
Flowers: 8 to 13 yellow ray flowers 0.4” to 0.6” (10 to 15 mm) long, 0.12” to 0.2” (3 to 5 mm) wide; 15 to 30 yellow to dark brown disk flowers, 0.28” to 0.36” (7 to 9 mm) long; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite)
Pollinators: other Haplopappus species are pollinated by insects
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 15.6, Windows primitive trail, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Haplopappus”, is from the Greek “ haploos ” which means “simple” and “pappos” which means “down, fluff” referring to the single pappus ring. The species and variety name, “armerioides”, is Latinized from the old French name “armoires” which means a “cluster-headed dianthus”. The genus name, “Stenotus” is from the Greek meaning “narrow ear”.
This plant grows and expands outward in a ring with the center part being the oldest. Often, the center of the ring can be dead.*
*Information from Al Schneider, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com.
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?
Once feared of becoming extinct, desert bighorn sheep are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to reintroduction efforts by the National Park Service. There are roughly 50 sheep in Arches, though their shy nature keeps them well-hidden from most visitors. More...