Boraginaceae Cryptantha tenuis

Cryptantha tenuis

Cryptantha tenuis

Synonym: Oreocarya tenuis

Family: Boraginaceae – Borage Family

Perennial herbs; 5.2” to 10” (13 to 25 cm) tall

Leaves: mostly basal; opposite at base, or alternate throughout; simple; generally rough and hairy; 0.8” to 2” (2 to 5 cm) long, 0.12” to 0.24” (3 to 6 mm) wide

Flowers: flowers in clusters; 5 united white petals with a narrow tube and an abruptly flared top, the tube is 0.22” to 0.28” (5.5 to 7 mm) long, fornices yellow; 5 sepals free or united; usually bisexual; 5 stamens; radially symmetrical; flower tube is 0.22” to 0.28” (5.5 to 7 mm) long

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects

Fruits: 4 nutlets; all 4 nutlets usually maturing

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May

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

Location seen: around Visitor Center, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Cryptantha”, comes 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, “tenuis”, means “thin or slender” referring to the leaves.

This plant is endemic to the canyons in and around the Colorado and lower Green Rivers in Emery, Garfield, Grand, San Juan and Wayne Counties in Utah.

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: February 24, 2015

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