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Desert Woollystar

Eriastrum eremicum

Miniature Woolystar, Eriastrum diffusum, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed along Camp Creek east of Carefree, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 25 March 2012.

ANNUAL: Diminutive spring annual becoming apparent after many other spring annuals have withered. Upright, about 15 cm or less, sometimes branched.

FLOWERS: Pale blue to nearly white with five points. The flowers are radially symmetrical. Blooming mid to late spring. The sepals below the petals are coated with woolly hairs.

LEAVES: Leaves are linear and mostly without narrow lobes.

RANGE: Growing in sandy or gravel washes through much the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico, also ranging into the Mojave Desert westwards.

FRUIT: Dry capsule with several seeds.

UNARMED. No thorns, but dried leaves and floral bracts can be a little sharp.

Polemoniaceae -- Phlox Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 18 April 2012