Delicate Arch Viewpoint Inaccessible
Wolfe Ranch and the hiking trail to Delicate Arch are open, but flood waters and mud have blocked the road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint.
Safety in Bear Country
Black bears have been seen near Devils Garden Campground. Don't lure or feed them. Dispose of trash in designated receptacles; don't leave it in bags or other soft containers. Store food in vehicles or hard containers when not being prepared or consumed. More »
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?
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.