Family: Geraniaceae – Geranium Family
Erodium cicutarium is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park.
Annual herbs; stems 1.97” to 2.6' (0.5 to 8 dm) long
Leaves: basal and opposite above; compound; fernlike; 0.4” to 4.8” (1 to 12 cm) long
Flowers: 5 pink to lilac petals; 5 sepals; 5, 10 stamens; 1 pistil; 1 style; usually radially symmetrical; in clusters; bisexual; petals 0.2” to 0.28” (5 to 7 mm) long
Pollinators: insects (specifically bees, beetles, moths and butterflies); self-fertile
Fruits: schizocarp which develops from a long-beaked pistil; dry which splits at maturity into one seeded closed segments
Blooms in Arches National Park: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Habitat in Arches National Park : widely distributed in open disturbed sites in different plant communities
Location seen: Visitor Center area, park road mile 0 to 2, Devils Garden trail
Other: The genus name, “Erodium”, is from the Greek “erodios” which means “heron” referring to the shape of the fruit. The species name, “cicutarium”, refers to the leaves which resemble the leaves of “Cicuta”, the genus name of water hemlock.
This is a non-native plant.
This plant was noted by explorer John Charles Fremont in 1844.
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.