• South Window

    Arches

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Southeast Utah. More »

Pretty Rockcress (Beauty Rockcress)

Arabis pulchra

Arabis pulchra var. pallens

Synonym: Boechera pulchra

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

Perennial herbs; stems 5.9” to 2' (1.5 to 6 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate, and basal and still alternate; most simple; entire or toothed or with a wavy margin; has hairs; leaves in basal rosettes are 0.4” to 2.4” (1 to 6 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.24” (2 to 6 mm) wide; leaves on stem are 0.48” to 2.4” (1.2 to 6 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.2” (1 to 5 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 pale pink to white or lavender to purple petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; petals are 0.4” to 0.74” (10 to 18.5 mm) long; 4 sepals; 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4); 1 pistil; flowers in racemes; nectar glands commonly 4

Pollinators: other Arabis species are pollinated by insects (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 and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: Visitor Center area, park road mile 2, mile 8.8, Windows road just before Windows parking lot, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Arabis”, means “of Arabia” and denotes where a member of this genus was discovered. The species name, “pulchra”, means “handsome or pretty” and describes the flowers. The variety name, “pallens”, means “pale” describing the petal color.

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...