• South Window

    Arches

    National Park Utah

Flixweed (Bedground-weed; Tansy-mustard)

Descurainia sophia

Descurainia sophia

Synonym: Sisymbrium sophia

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

Annual or infrequently winter annual; stems 6.7” to 3.3' (1.7 to 10 dm) tall or more

Leaves: basal and alternate; lower compound to simple (pinnatifid), the upper smaller and compound or simple (pinnatifid); 0.4” to 4.8” (1 to 12 cm) long

Flowers: 4 cream to yellow petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; petals 0.088” to 0.12” (2.2 to 3 mm) long; 4 yellowish deciduous sepals; 6 stamens; 1 pistil; nectar glands commonly 4' flowers in corymbs or racemes

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (butterflies, moths, bees and flies); self-fertile

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

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: disturbed areas, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road

Other: The genus name, “Descurainia”, honors Francois Descourain (1658-1740), a French botanist and physician/pharmacist. The species name,”sophia”, is from the Greek word meaning “wisdom”.

This is a non-native plant from Europe.

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...