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?
The common raven displays abilities to play and problem-solve that are rare among animals. This member of the crow family is also very vocal, communicating with over a dozen sounds. Perhaps because of these qualities, ravens have achieved a certain stature in both European and Native American folklore.