Family: Capparaceae – Caper Family
Cleome lutea (Yellow beeplant) is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park.
Annual herbs; stems 11.8” to 4.9' (3 to 15 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; palmately compound; entire; 3 to 7 leaflets; leaflets 0.32” to 0.4” (0.8 to 5 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.4” (2 to 10 mm) wide
Flowers: 4 yellow petals; 4 sepals; stamens commonly 6; 1 pistil; stamens extend above the top of the flower; petals 0.2” to 0.32” (5 to 8 mm)
Pollinators: other Cleome species are pollinated by bees
Fruits: capsule (mustard-like pod)
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: Delicate Arch Viewpoint, along Hwy. 191 near mouth of Courthouse Wash , west park boundary
Other: The genus name, "Cleome", is an ancient name for a mustard-like plant and the species name, "lutea", means "yellow".
This family closely resembles mustards (Brassicaceae), but this family has stamens that are all of one length and mustards do not.
Did You Know?
In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years.