Visitor Center is OPEN 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily
Alcove Nature Trail CLOSED for reconstruction until further notice.
Traffic delays near the West (Fruita) Entrance on State Highway 340
Traffic delays on Colorado State Highway 340 (near the west entrance) will occur throughout the month of June. Call the road construction hotline 970-314-5540 for more details.
Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae)
Other Names: broom snakeweed
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Description: usually grows no more than 2 feet tall. Trunk is very short, giving the appearance of a short woody base. Stems are generally flexible green-brown. Narrow leaves may be as long as 3 inches. They may be slightly barbed along their margins and smell faintly of turpentine. Small yellow flowers at shoot tips appear in the fall.
Range: occurs throughout the western United States from California to Kansas, north into Canada, and south to Texas. It can be found throughout Colorado National Monument.
Did you know: it has been said that a poultice of ground and boiled leaves of the snakeweed can be used to treat snake bites in sheep, hence the common name of this broom-like plant. Native peoples of the southwest and Midwest have also used snakeweed medicinally in various ways throughout their history. For example, the Lakota used a decoction of the plant to treat cold, cough, and dizziness, and the Navajo rubbed the ashes of the snakeweed on their bodies to treat headache and dizziness.
Did You Know?
Colorado National Monument is located near the northeast corner of the Colorado Plateau, an arid semi-desert region located between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin of Nevada. The average elevation of the entire Colorado Plateau is over 5,000 feet! More...