Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Mallow on Glass Mountain
One of the most remarkable rock formations I have seen is the so-called Glass Mountain located in the Capital Reef National Park in central Utah. It is mound, about 15 or 20 feet high of selenite or gypsum crystals of unusually large size. Quoting from Wikipedia, "Gypsum was deposited as sea water evaporated 165 million years ago and then buried under other sediments. The gypsum migrated upwards through fractures in the sediments forming layers and, very rarely, domes like the Glass Mountain." There is another deposit a short distance away, outside of the National Park, that has been reduced to ground level by collectors. This is one of the most persuasive arguments for protecting natural wonders in parks and monuments. The plant is a species of Sphaeralcea or globe mallow. There are up to 60 different species of globe mallow and I do not have the resources to tell them all apart.