Asteraceae Chrysopsis villosa

Bright yellow flowers with long thin petals ending in a point, like a starburst.

Chrysopsis villosa

Synonym: Heterotheca villosa var. hispida

Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family

Perennial herbs; stems 5.9” to 1.6' (1.5 to 5 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; has hairs; 0.2” to 2” (0.5 to 5 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.4” (2 to 10 mm) wide

Flowers: yellow ray flowers and yellow disk flowers; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). 10-25 yellow rays are 0.24” to 0.4” (6 to 10 mm) long

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects

Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, grassland and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Chrysopsis”, is from "chrysos" which means "golden," and “opsis” which means “bearing a resemblance or appearance” referring to the golden color of the flower heads. The genus name, “Heterotheca”, is from the Greek “hetero” meaning “different” and “theke” meaning “ovary”, referring to the unlike achenes of the ray and disk florets. The species name, “villosa”, means “soft-hairy” and refers to the gray hairs on the leaves and stems. The variety name, “hispida”, means “rough, with bristly hairs”.

This family is the most advanced and complex of the dicots. The family is rich in oils and resins and is found in every part of the world, but is infrequent in the tropical rainforest. Aquatic or semi-aquatic species are also uncommon.

Last updated: January 21, 2022

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