The Delicate Arch Viewpoint Road is closed. All other roads and trails remain open, but many trails are snowy, icy, and dangerous. Please inquire at the visitor center for the most up-to-date conditions.
Construction Update - 11/25/2013
Construction work continues at the Devils Garden parking lot, limiting parking and causing occasional delays. Visitors can avoid the area by turning around at Sand Dune Arch. More »
Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. melancanthus
Family: Cactaceae - Cactus Family
Perennial herbaceous succulents; 3.2” to 6” (8 to 15 centimeters) tall; 1.2” to 2.4” (3 to 6 centimeters) thick
Leaves: spines are modified leaves; has fleshy pads, 9 or 10 ribs
Flowers: showy; red; generally bisexual, petaloid sepals; stamens numerous, 1 style; flowers 0.2” to 0.3” (5 to 7.5 mm) long
Pollinators: other genuses in this family are pollinated by insects
Fruits: large dry or fleshy many-seeded berry
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Courthouse Wash rock art panel, Freshwater Canyon , outside Arches National Park on the trail to Corona Arch and on Rough & Rocky Mesa
Other: The genus name, “Echinocereus”, is from the Greek “echinos” which means “hedgehog” referring to this plant's resemblance to the animal. The species name, “triglochidiatus”, means “with three barbed bristles” coming from the Greek "tri" which means “three” and “glochis” which means “a point” referring to the straight spines arranged in clusters of three. The variety name, “melanacanthus”, means a “black spine”.
Root systems are shallow unless deep water. Stomates (pores) are open during the night, allowing entry of carbon dioxide, which is chemically stored; during the day the carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis.
Did You Know?
The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Arches and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...