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Spotted Hideseed

Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia

Photography by Michael Plagens

Observed at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Pima Co., Arizona, USA. March 2010.

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ANNUAL: Diminutive spring annual with frail, branching stems that often are supported by adjacent plants. Rarely more than 10 cm. The stems lack the minute recurved spines of Blue Fiesta Flower, a similar plant.

FLOWERS: Five-lobed, blue to white flowers in loose inflorescence are very small, barely 3mm dia. Blooming in early spring - mostly February and March.

LEAVES: Leaves are deeply dissected into pinnate lobes. Sticky hairs are present on the leaves and stems.

RANGE: Fairly common in southwestern portions of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and southern California, but present only in years when winter rains have been adequate. Look in the partially protected habitat formed in the shade of large rocks and boulders.

FRUIT: A capsule with about a dozen or so small seeds, some smooth and others wrinkled. A related, very similar species Eucrypta micrantha, has erect calyx lobes partially enclosing the fruit, whereas E. chrysanthemifolia calyx lobes are reflexed. Also, the leaves of Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia are slightly larger and the lower leaves a bipinnately dividied.

UNARMED. No spines.

Hydrophyllaceae -- Waterleaf Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009