Family: Asteraceae (A Utah Flora – Compositae) – Sunflower Family
Perennial (less commonly biennial or annual) herbs; stems 3.2” to 1.8' (8 to 55 cm) tall
Leaves: alternate or mainly basal; simple; entire to pinnatifid, usually lobed; glandular; has hairs; 0.4” to 3” (1 to 7.5 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.6” (2 to 15 mm) wide
Flowers: ray flowers and disk flowers; flower head appears to be a single flower, but is composed of several flowers (a composite). Solitary flower heads on long stems; 7 to 12 yellow ray flowers 3-lobed, lobes are 0.08” to 0.2” (2 to 5 mm) long; purple disk flowers, perfect, fertile, 0.6” to 1.4” (15 to 35 mm) wide
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects
Fruits: achene – 1 seeded with hard shell
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park entrance, Delicate Arch road, park road mile 12 to 13, outside Arches National Park on Hwy. 128 around Big Bend campground
Other: The genus name, “Gaillardia”, honors M. Gaillard de Charentoreau, an 18th century French Magistrate and patron of botany. The species name, “pinnatifida”, means “pinnately cut” referring to the leaves.
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.