Plant: shrub, stiff, angular, mound forming shrubs 0.2-0.8(-1.5) m high; young branches canescent; old stems terete, blue-green, rigid with acute spinose tips. Leaves: usually sparse, occasionally almost completely lacking, 4-20 mm long, 1-5 mm wide, canescent throughout Flowers: solitary, flowering stalks to 25 mm long, canescent; bractlets 4-10 mm long, 0.5-3 mm wide, medial on flowering stalk; sepals 5, reflexed, purple or deep red-pink, canescent or strigose on the outer surfaces; lowermost sepal 9-12(-15) mm long, 2.5-5 mm wide; elaiophores orbicular to reniform, 1.5-3(-4.5) mm long, 1.5-3(-5) mm wide, deep purple, red-brown, pink or yellow, the dorsal surfaces bullate and entirely covered with round blisters; petaloid petals 3, pink or purple at the tip, green basally, distinct to base, narrowly oblanceolate, 3-6 mm long, 0.4-2 mm wide, the terminal expanded portion entire, minutely serrate or shallowly notched; stamens 4, didynamous, curved upward, inserted at the base of the petaloid petals, the upper pair 3.5-6 mm long, the lower pair 5-8 mm long; ovary 3-4 mm long; style red or pink Fruit: FRUITS cordate to circular in outline, 5.5-10 mm wide excluding spines, canescent, sericeous, or strigose with white or brown trichomes; individual spines (1.5-)2.5-5(-6) mm long, bearing a whorl of amber-colored, recurved barbs up to 1 mm long at the apex; SEEDS globose, gray-brown, smooth, lacking endosperm Misc: Deserts; below 1100 m (3600 ft.); (Mar)Apr.-Sept.(-Nov) Notes: hemiparasitic in AZ; petals highly modified References: B. B. Simpson & A. Salywon. Krameriaceae. JANAS 32:57-61. J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual. ASU specimens.