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California Ayenia

Ayenia compacta

Ayenia compacta photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in the Wickenburg Mountains, Yavapai Co., Arizona. Sept. 2008.

SHRUB: A small, obscure sub-shrub rarely more than ½ meter tall. A dozen or so weakly woody stems from a woody crown. Leafy by mid spring or again after summer rains.

LEAVES: Leaves alternate, deltoid-shaped, and serrate on margins. Long conspicuous hairs.

RANGE: Bajadas and rocky slopes along northern tier of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and ranging westward into California.

FRUIT: A small, spherical capsule that eventually splits into usually five segments. Prickle bumps on fruit surface.

FLOWERS: Small flowers are close to stems and mostly inconspicuous. Whitish petals and with a burgandy colored stamen tube. Flowers Aug-Sept.

UNARMED. No thorns or spines.

Sterculiaceae -- Cacao Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2011