Desert annuals like grasses and wildflowers are adapted to the arid environment in many different ways. These include thick, waxy coverings on leaves and stems which reduce exposure and thus evaporative water loss; small leaves which reduce water loss while the plant transpires or “breathes” and receive less solar radiation; and deep taproots to reach further into the soil or shallow widespread roots that absorb surface water quickly.
Despite these adaptations, most desert wildflowers avoid drought and heat by surviving as seeds or bulbs stored in the soil, sometimes for decades. These seeds will only germinate after significant seasonal rainfall, so wildflower growth in Arches is highly variable year to year. April and May are generally the best months to see wildflowers, then again in early fall if there are a lot of summer monsoons.
Arches Flower Guide
Wondering what flowers you might have seen during your visit to Arches? Look no further! Using the online Arches Flower Guide, you can explore the area's flowers by bloom month, color, name and more by clicking links in one of the sections below.
Please help us protect the flowers by staying on trails, rocks, or in washes. Biological soil crust is a living ground cover that is critical for plant life in the park. Stepping on sand anywhere off a trail destroys this crust. Collection of plants is prohibited.
The duration of the flowering season depends on precipitation and varies from year to year.
Glossary for Arches Flower Guide
Search by Plant Name
Search for common name or scientific name to find a listing of some of the most common plants seen at Arches National Park. Get a complete listing of plants in Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, or Natural Bridges National Monument.
Last updated: February 4, 2023