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Common Rockcress (Perennial Rockcress)

Arabis perennans

Arabis perennans

Synonym: Boechera perennans

Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora - Cruciferae) - Mustard Family

Perennial herbs; 3.5” to 2.1' (0.9 to 6.5 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; basal leaves often toothed and hairy; upper leaves toothed or entire; can have hairs on not; upper leaves 0.28” to 1.6” (0.7 to 4 cm) long; 0.08” to 0.32” (2 to 8 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; 4 sepals; 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4); 1 pistil; pink to lavender or less commonly white; flowers in corymbs or racemes; usually radially symmetrical; petals 0.2” to 0.36” (5 to 9 mm) long; nectar glands commonly 4

Pollinators: other Arabis species are pollinated by bees, moths and butterflies; self-fertile

Fruits: silique- a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub communities

Location seen: Windows trail, Fiery Furnace parking lot, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Arabis”, means “of Arabia” denoting where a member of this genus was discovered and the species name, “perennans”, means “perennial”.

Many plants in this family are weeds and they flower early because they are annual. Many vegetables are in this family– radish, cabbage, cauliflower. A few species of plants in this family are poisonous to livestock.

Did You Know?

proposed wilderness

Nearly 96% of Arches is recommended for wilderness designation. Though the recommendation has not been approved by Congress, the park is required to manage those 73,312 acres as though they were formally designated wilderness. More...