Draba cuneifolia var. cuneifolia
Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family
Annual herbs from a taproot; 3.9” to 8” (1 to 20 cm) tall
Leaves: alternate, or basal and still alternate; simple; entire to toothed; has hairs; basal leaves 0.2” to 1.6” (0.5 to 4 cm) long, 0.08” to 1.08” (2 to 27 mm) wide
Flowers: 4 white petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; petals 0.12” to 0.2” (3 to 5 mm) long; 4 sepals; usually 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4), sometimes 2 or 4; 1 pistil; nectar glands commonly 4
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically butterflies, moths, bees and flies); some self-fertile
Fruits: silique - a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition
Blooms in Arches National Park: February, March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: Windows, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Draba”, is from the Greek word “drabe” which means "sharp or acrid" referring to the burning taste of the leaves which supposedly had a medicinal value as a poultice. The species name, “cuneifolia”, means “wedge-shaped leaf”.
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.