Delicate Arch Viewpoint inaccessible
Flood waters and mud have blocked the road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint, though Wolfe Ranch and the hiking trail to Delicate Arch remain accessible.
Bluestem Penstemon (Dusty Penstemon)
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort Family
Perennial herbs; some parasitic or semi-parasitic; 7.87” to 1.5' (2 to 4.5 decimeters) tall
Leaves: opposite and basal; simple; leaf margins curled or wavy; 0.6” to 4.8” (1.5 to 12 cm) long; 0.08” to 1.2” (2 to 30 mm) wide
Flowers: 5 blue or lavender lobed united tubular petals (irregular flowers with upper lip 2 lobed, lower lip 3 lobed), 5 tubular sepals at least partially united; 4 fertile stamens, a fifth stamen is sterile; flowers 0.64” to 0.96” (16 to 24 mm) long
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees, flies, moths and butterflies) and hummingbirds
Fruits: 2 chambered capsule (dry fruit)
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communites; mostly in sandy soil
Location seen: Windows primitive trail, park road in Salt Valley, outside Arches National Park above Ken's Lake
Other: The genus name, “Penstemon”, is from the Greek “pen” which means “almost” and "stemon" which means “thread” which refers to the stamens (only 4 of the 5 stamens produce pollen; the fifth stamen is sterile, so it is almost a stamen). The species name, “cyanocaulis”, is from the Greek “kyanos” which means “blue” and “caulis” which means “stem”.
The genus Penstemon is large and complex. The family is important because it has many ornamentals and cardiac glycosides can be derived from foxglove.
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.