Blue Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

Pholistoma auritum photo © by Laurie Nessle

Photographed in Maricopa Co., Arizona by Laurie Nessel. February 29, 2008

close up of stem with hooked hairs of Pholistoma auritum, a composite of photographs by Mike Plagens and Laurie Nessle

This image is also hosted at the Wikimedia Commons. The minute hooks can be seen in this enlarged view.

ANNUAL : Slender spring annual that clambers up and through small shrubs and other plants. The stems have minute grappling hooks along their length that help maintain the plant's high position amongst the profusion of growth that follows good winter rains. These hooks can be felt easily under the finger tips by sliding them along the stem.

FLOWERS: Pale blue flowers with five blue stamens and five lobes to the corolla. Color can vary from dark blue to almost white. Blooming mostly February to April.

LEAVES: Leaves are divided into rounded lobes and a pair of the lobes more-or-less encircles the stem (clasping).

RANGE: Frequent throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and southern California, but present only in years when winter rains have been adequate.

FRUIT: A spherical, bristly capsule with several small seeds.

UNARMED. Excepting the minute hooks this plant is free of thorns and spines.

Hydrophyllaceae -- Waterleaf Family

Sponsored Links:

At White Canyon Wilderness in Pinal Co., Arizona, I found a number of plants with powdery mildew infections. A full understanding of any species and its environment ought to include the pathogens from viruses to macroscopic fungi as well.

Pholistoma auritium with apparent powdery mildew

More Information:

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

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 17 March 2008,
update 21 June 2014