• Strike Valley and the Waterpocket Fold

    Capitol Reef

    National Park Utah


Apache Plume


Common Names: Apache Plume

Scientific Name: Fallugia paradoxa

Size (height): up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall

Habitat: Lowland riparian, mixed desert shrub, pinyon-juniper. It is found throughout the park but is especially abundant in Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge.

Flowering Season: April - August

Range: Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona

Description: Apache plume has scaly bark, wedge shaped leaves, and white flowers with five petals. The feathery seeds resemble the war headdress of the Apache Indian, hence the common name. Apache plume is an important browse plant for big game.



Common Names: Cliffrose

Scientific Name: Purshia mexicana

Size (height): 1.5-10 ft (0.5-3.0 m) tall

Habitat: Mixed desert shrub, pinyon-juniper, mixed conifer. It is found throughout the park but is especially abundant in Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge.

Flowering Season: May - June

Range: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada

Description: Cliffrose has numerous branches with shredded bark which has been used by native people for weaving sandals, mats and other items. It has aromatic, five-lobed leaves which are green above and whitish below due to a coating of fine hairs. The leaves are coated with a resin that gives them a bitter taste however, the shrub is generally palatable to large ungulates and is an important browse plant. Flowers are white to yellowish with five petals.

Roundleaf Buffaloberry


Common Names: Roundleaf Buffaloberry

Scientific Name: Shepherdia rotundifolia

Size (height & diameter): 3-6 ft (0.9-1.8 m) tall, 3-12 ft (0.9-3.7 m) wide

Habitat: Widespread throughout the park on hillsides, slickrock, and canyon bottoms in mixed desert shrub and pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Flowering Season: May - July

Range: Endemic to the Colorado Plateau occurring in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.

Description: The species name, rotundifolia, refers to its round leaves which are leathery and silvery green above and whitish below due to a dense covering of short hairs. The tiny yellow flowers grow in clusters in leaf axils. The berries were used by settlers to make sauce for buffalo steaks.

Did You Know?

Rabbit Valley Gilia in a crack in rocks at Capitol Reef

The geology of the Waterpocket Fold created conditions which allowed unique plant species to evolve here. A total of 887 plant species occur in the park many of which have very restricted distributions, occuring on specific geologic formations, soils, slopes, or elevation or precipitation ranges.