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.