There are several kinds of Cowania.
Altitude and soil make a great difference in the beauty of this shrub. On the rocky rim of the Grand Canyon it is from four to eight feet high, picturesquely gnarled and twisted, but stunted looking, the gray bark hanging off the crooked branches and thick, distorted trunk in untidy shreds, the flowers pale, scanty, and but faintly scented. Halfway down Bright Angel trail it is a glorious thing, full of color and fragrance, about twelve feet high, luxuriant and healthy-looking. The small, leathery, evergreen leaves, crowded in bunches along the branches, are glossy and rich in color, setting off the light yellow flowers, with golden centers, which form long wands of bloom. The upper branches are clustered closely their whole length with blossoms, and when the wind sways the flowering branches to and fro they exhale an exquisite fragrance like orange flowers. The bloom is at its best in the Canyon in May, but there are still some lingering flowers in August. The calyx is top-shaped, with the petals and the two rows of numerous stamens on the throat of the tube. The pistils, from five to twelve, are densely woolly. The akenes have pale, silky-hairy tails, two inches or more in length, suggesting gone-to-seed Clematis. For some occult reason this shrub is called Quinine Bush at the Grand Canyon.
There are two kinds of Aruncus, resembling Spiraea; with small white flowers, the stamens and pistils in separate flowers on different plants. Aruncus is a word used by Pliny to designate a goat's beard.
Cliff Rose. Cowania Stansburiana.