Musk Mustard (Purple Mustard)
Family: Brassicaceae ( A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family
Annual herb from a taproot, 0.79” to 1.48' (0.2 to 4.5 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; 0.2” to 3.4” (0.5 to 8.5 cm) long, 0.04” to 1.12” (0.1 to 2.8 cm) wide; often has hairs
Flowers: 4 pink to lavender petals 0.36” to 0.5” (9 to 12.5 mm) long; 4 sepals; 6 stamens
Fruits: silique (many-seeded capsule)
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: disturbed areas
Location seen: widespread, Arches National Park Visitor Center area, Cache Valley
Other: The genus name, “Chorispora”, is from the Greek “choris” meaning “separate” and “spora” meaning “seed” referring to the separate fruits. The species name, “tenella”, is from the Latin meaning “quite dainty, delicate”.
This is a non-native plant. The musky odor of this plant is evident.
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?
Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals at Arches. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. This odd dance might enhance their stereoscopic vision, helping them see what's looking back at them.