Arizona wrightwort, more...
[Carlowrightia californica Brandegee, more]
Wiggins 1964, Daniel 1984, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Subshrub 15-30 cm, or up to 1 m in the protection of a spiny shrub; much branched; often leafless. Stems slender and brittle, herbage densely pubescent with minute hairs and inconspicuous minute glands. Leaves: Quickly drought deciduous; sessile to petioled, blades mostly lanceolate, entire. Flowers: Corollas 1 cm in diameter, pealike, fall as unit, white with yellow eye and purple guide lines on upper lip, formed by 2 fused petals. Fruits: Capsule about 1 cm, glabrous, 4 seeds. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes from 2,500-4,000 ft (762-1219 m); flowers April-May. Distribution: Ranges from the SW US to northern Costa Rica Notes: Distinguished by its low-growing mostly leafless habit, densely pubescent stems, and showy white, pea-like flowers although there is considerable variation in appearance in different seasons or at different stages of growth. Corollas open at sunrise and fall by late morning with the heat of the day. The leaves are drought-deciduous and the the plant leafs out after summer rains. Grazed by rabbits, rodents, and livestock. Ethnobotany: The Mayo used it in a tea taken for fevers. Etymology: Carlowrightia is named for American botanist Charles (Carlos) Wright (1811-1885), and arizonica refers to Arizona. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015