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Climbing Wortclub

Boerhavia scandens
(Commicarpus scandens)

Climbing Wortclub, Boerhavia scandens, Pen & Ink by Michael Plagens

The week stems of this perennial are usually supported by those of woodier, larger shrubs.

PERENNIAL HERB: A plant that cannot stand on its own. Stems are woody towards base and may extend up to two meters as they ascend up through another shrub that offers support and some shade.
Climbing Wortclub, Boerhavia scandens, photo © by Michael Plagens
FRUIT: Fruits do indeed resemble miniature clubs coated with sticky droplets and arranged in an umbell.

RANGE: Uncommon to common from 700 m up to 1500 m on boulder strewn slopes in the Upper Sonoran Desert and semi-arid habitats of Arizona and Sonora. The flowers at right were seen in lower Madera Canyon in Sept. 2010.

LEAVES: Elyptic to heart-shaped.

FLOWERS: Small, whitish-yellow or tinged green. They are borne in umbel shaped cluster on long slender pedicels. Blooming late spring, summer and fall depending on rainfall.


Nyctaginaceae -- Four O’Clock Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2011