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.
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?
Metal bars supporting telephone lines were installed in Capitol Gorge in 1911 providing telephone service to the ranching community east of Capitol Reef National Park. State Highway 24 was an unpaved road through Capitol Gorge until 1962, when it was re-routed along the Fremont River and paved.