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 »
Common Paintbrush (Slickrock Paintbrush; Early Paintbrush)
Family: Scrophulariaceae - Figwort Family
Perennial herbs; some parasitic or semi-parasitic; 4” to 1.8' (1 to 5.5 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; linear; divided; 1” to 2.8” (2.5 to 7 cm) long
Flowers: 4 or 5 united green tubular petals are irregular and 2-lipped (the upper lip beaklike with 2 lobes and the lower lip shorter with 3 lobes); 4 at least partially united tubular variously colored sepals; 4 stamens; flowerlike bracts are reddish and tubular; bilaterally symmetrical; usually bisexual; flowers are 0.8” to 1.44” (2 to 3.6 cm) long, upper lip is 0.36” to 0.72” (9 to 18 mm) long
Pollinators: other Castilleja species are pollinated by insects and hummingbirds; red paintbrush is generally hummingbird pollinated and yellow, green, or purple paintbrush is generally bee pollinated
Fruits: 2 chambered capsule (dry fruit)
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, grassland and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: on park road mile 0 to 4, Windows road, park road mile 11 to 12, Delicate Arch trail, Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Other: The genus, “Castilleja”, honors Domingo Castillejo, an 18th century Spanish botanist and the species name, “chromosa”, means “red” which describes the color of the flower's bracts.
This plant is hemiparasitic (partiallyhalf-parasite). It is a water parasite that survives drought by attaching to the roots of other plants using them as a source of water.
This family is important because of many ornaments and cardiac glycosides can be derived from foxglove.
Did You Know?
There are over 2,000 cataloged arches in Arches National Park. In order to be considered an arch, an opening must measure at least three feet (in any direction).