Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Boraginaceae >>> Cryptantha maritima

Guadalupe Popcorn Flower

Cryptantha maritima

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in a deep sandy desert area near Palo Verde, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA in March 2008.

SEEDS: Each flower develops just one single-seeded nutlet (the other three abort - occas. there is a much smaller second nutlet). The nutlet is smooth and shiny. There are many species of Cryptantha which are identified by the characteristics of the nutlets. This requires minimum 10x magnification.

RANGE: Sandy or silty areas of the Sonoran Desert usu. below 1500 m elevation following winter or spring rains.

LEAVES: Nearly linear leaves, like the rest of the foliage, are covered in stiff, bristly hairs.

ANNUAL: A spring annual rarely exceding 30 cm.

FLOWERS: White, five petaled flowers are small. About a two millimeters in diameter. They are borne in a scorpioid inflorescence. Some specimens may have petals up to 4 mm across.

UNARMED. The stiff bristles make this plant uncomfortable to the touch.

Boraginaceae -- Borage Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009