• View from the Canyon Rim Trail. Photo by Jeff Kochevar


    National Monument Colorado

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Visitor Center is OPEN Oct 1-Nov 30 9am-5pm, Dec-mid March 9am-4:30pm

    Visitor Center is open everyday except December 25



Cliffrose (Cowania mexicana)

Other Names: quininebush

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Description: grows up to 6 m tall with trunk diameters up to 15 cm. Dark green, wedge-shaped leaves are thick and leathery and covered with resinous ducts. Bark is reddish-brown or grey and shredded in appearance. White flowers appear in the spring and summer. This species is evergreen.

Range: occurs throughout the Rocky Mountain Region from Utah to Colorado and south to New Mexico and Arizona. It grows throughout Colorado National Monument, but especially at cliff edges.

Did you know: the Ute people have used the leaves and bark of the cliffrose for many purposes throughout their history. Shredded cliffrose bark was known to the Utes to be highly absorbent and prevent rash, and it was often used for cradleboard lining, pillow stuffing, and matting. Inner bark, which has antiseptic properties, was used as eyewash, and the astringent leaves were used to clean wounds and treat skin irritations.

Did You Know?

John Otto on a trail with his horse and burro

John Otto's efforts almost a century ago continue to help visitors experience Colorado National Monument. Of the 40 miles of trails available to hikers in the monument, many of them were first built by original park custodian John Otto. More...