Boraginaceae Cryptantha flava

Bright yellow flowers with five petals on a hairy silvery green plant.

Cryptantha flava

Synonym: Oreocarya flava

Family: Boraginaceae – Borage Family

Perennial herbs; 5.1” to 1.3' (1.3 to 4 dm) tall

Leaves: opposite at base and alternate above; simple; densely hairy; 0.8” to 3.6” (2 to 9 cm) long, 0.12” to 0.32” (3 to 8 mm) wide

Flowers: 5 united yellow petals with a narrow tube and an abruptly flared top, the tube is 0.36” to 0.48” (9 to 12 mm) long, fornices yellow ; 5 sepals free or united; 5 stamens; radially symmetrical; usually bisexual

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects

Fruits: 4 nutlets; 1 or 2 nutlets usually maturing

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June

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

Location seen: widespread, park road mile 0 to 2.5, park road near mile 5.5, mile 8

Other: The genus name, “Cryptantha”, is from the Greek “kryptos” which means “to hide” and “anthos” which means “flower” referring to the bracts obscuring the flowers on some species. The species name, “flava”, means “yellow”.

The classification of this family is based primarily upon the structure of the fruit. This genus of plants is only found in America, mostly in the western United States, but also in the deserts of South America.

Last updated: January 28, 2022

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