Family: Primulaceae – Primrose Family
Primula specuicola (Easter-flower or Cave primrose) is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park. Perennial herbs; 2.4” to 11.2” (6 to 28 centimeters) tall
Leaves: basal; simple; toothed; spatula shaped; 0.8” to 8” (2 to 20 cm) long; 0.12” to 1.32” (3 to 33 mm) wide
Flowers: 5 lobed lavender to pink tubular petals with the corolla tube rimmed in yellow; 5 tubular lobed sepals; 5 stamens; 1 pistil; umbels with 5 to 40 flowers in clusters at the end of a leafless stalk; flowers 0.5” to 0.67” (1.27 to 1.7 cm) wide
Pollinators: Other Primula species pollinated by insects (specifically bees, moths and butterflies)
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April
Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging gardens and streamsides; mainly in alcoves in Entrada and Navajo Sandstone formations
Location seen: seeps; outside Arches National Park in Grandstaff Canyon
Other: The genus name, “Primula”, comes from “primus”, which means “first” being a reference to the plant's blooming in early spring. The species name, “specuicola”, is Latin for "cave".
Primula specuicola is a Colorado Plateau endemic and occurs in the canyons and tributaries of the Colorado River. It is endemic to Garfield, Grand, Kane, San Juan (type specimen was collected near Bluff), and Wayne Counties in southeast Utah and Apache, Coconino, and Navajo Counties in northern Arizona.
This plant is a C3 federal species of concern. C3 are taxa that are no longer being considered for listing as threatened or endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Although this C3 candidate is no longer officially considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act the former candidate status is important historical information.
It flowers around Easter, so it is sometimes called Easter-flower.
Last updated: March 29, 2021