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 »
Canaigre (Dock; Wild Rhubarb; Sorrel)
Family: Polygonaceae – Buckwheat Family
Perennial herbs from tuberous roots; 8” to 3.3' (2 to 10 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; 3.2” to 10” (8 to 25 cm) long, 0.8” to 4.8” (2 to 12 cm) wide
Flowers: 0 petals; 6 petaloid or sepaloid sepals, rarely 4 (the 3 inner segments form papery wings surrounding the fruit); stamens usually 6; 1 pistil; small flowers in clusters usually greenish to pinkish; flower cluster 4” to 16” (10 to 40 cm) long
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub communities
Location seen: widespread along park road, across from Park Avenue parking lot, Fiery Furnace parking lot
Other: The genus name, “Rumex”, is the ancient Latin name for docks and sorrel plants. The species name, “hymenosepalus”, means “membranous sepals” and refers to the 3 inner segments that become papery when the plant is in fruit.
This family's scientific name, “Polygonaceae”, is derived from the Greek words “poly” which means "many" and “goni” which means "joint", a reference to many species that have swollen nodes or joints.
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.