Winter Trail Conditions
All 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 »
Synonym: Ceratocephalus testiculatus
Family: Ranunculaceae – Buttercup Family
Annual herbs; dicot; 0.6” to 4” (1.5 to 10 cm) tall; hairy
Leaves: basal; simple; deeply 3-parted; 0.12” to 1.6” (0.3 to 4 cm) long, 0.12” to 1.2” (0.3 to 3 cm) wide
Flowers: 2 to 5 yellow petals, 0.14” to 0.31” (3.5 to 8 mm) long; 5 hairy green sepals; stamens 5 to numerous; pistils 5 to many; perfect
Pollinators: other Ranunculus species are pollinated by insects
Fruits: hairy achenes; most fruits in this family are poisonous because of the volatile acrid oil - protoanemonin
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: disturbed areas and dry areas
Location seen: Windows, Delicate Arch trail
Other: The genus name, “Ranunculus”, means “small frog” which refers to the many species of this genus that grow in moist locations. The genus name, “Ceratocephalus”, is from the Greek “keras” which means "a horn" and the Greek “kephale” meaning "head". The species name, “testiculatus”, refers to the ovate and solid shape.
This plant is a weed and was introduced from Eurasia. Several species in this family are grown as ornamentals, others provide drugs, and some are poisonous.
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.