Family: Linaceae – Flax Family
Linum is the only genus from this family represented at Arches National Park. Annual herbs from taproots; stems 3.2” to 1.5' (8 to 45 cm) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; 0.12” to 0.6” (3 to 15 mm) long, 0.02” to 0.04” (0.5 to 1 mm) wide
Flowers: 5 distinct bright yellow or orange-yellow petals; 5 distinct sepals; 5 stamens; 1 pistil; flowers papery and short-lived
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by bees and flies
Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communites in sandy areas
Location seen: Park road near Petrified Dunes (around mile 5 to 8), Devils Garden primitive trail
Other: The genus name, “Linum”, is from the Greek “linon” which is the name for flax used by Theophrastus, a Greek philospher. The species name, “aristatum”, means “long bristle tip”.
Flax fibers and linseed oil come from this family.