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Showy Rushpink (Skeletonweed; Arizona Rushpink)

Lygodesmia grandiflora

Lygodesmia grandiflora var. arizonica

Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora - Compositae) - Sunflower Family

Perennial herbs; milky juice; stems 2.4” to 1.6' (0.6 to 5 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate or mainly basal and still alternate; simple; can have hairs; 0.2” to 4” (0.5 to 10 cm) long or more, 0.04” to 0.2” (1 to 5 mm) wide

Flowers: flowers are all raylike; 5 to 10 rays are pink, purple, or rarely white; 0.8” to 1.6” (2 to 4 cm) long

Pollinators: insects

Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell

Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June, July

Habitat in Arches National Park: mainly in sand in desert shrub, grassland and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road near Petrified Dunes, park road mile 7, west boundary of park

Other: The genus name, “Lygodesmia”, is from the Greek “lygodes” which means “willow-like” and "desmos" which means “band, chain, or bundle”. The species name, “grandiflora” , means “large flower” and the variety name, "arizonica" , means “of or from Arizona ” relating to its range.

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?

Close up of biological soil crust

The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Arches and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...