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Boerhavia coccinea

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in August 2007. This photo is hosted at Wikimedia where there are additional images of Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clock) species. Enlarged views of flowers at upper left.

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FLOWERS: Four to ten small flowers are grouped together in a head-like cluster presenting a sphere of scarlet. Like the other spiderlings the inflorescence branches repeatedly creating an intricate web of stems.

RANGE: Common weed on vacant city lots and road sides in mostly disturbed habitats in the Sonoran Desert. Can also be found growing within major washes and on rocky slopes.

LEAVES: Opposite leaves are larger than other Sonoran Desert  Boerhavias, unequal in size, and the nodes are enlarged. Note the reddish tint to leaf margins.

SEEDS: In fruit the peduncles elongate and the arrangement is umbellate. Small seeds inside sticky, club-shaped capsules.

SUMMER ANNUAL: Appears after warms season rains growing rather close to the soil. Robust plants may spread out more than a meter in diameter.


Photo by Kim Starr (USGS)

Boerhavia coccinea is an invasive weed in Hawaiian Ecosystems. This photo was taken by Forest & Kim Starr (USGS).

Nyctaginaceae -- Four O'Clock Family

More Info:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008