Cryptantha fendleri (A. Gray) Greene
Family: Boraginaceae
sanddune cryptantha,  more...
[Cryptantha pattersonii (A. Gray) Greene,  more]
Cryptantha fendleri image
Max Licher  
Duration: Annual Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual, 10-50 cm tall; plants slender, stems erect with a distinct central axis, simple below, branched above; herbage more-or-less densely hispid, or often appressed-hispid. Leaves: Basal and cauline, alternate, simple, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, 1-5 cm long, 1-5 mm wide, surfaces hispid- hirsute with spreading to ascending pustular-based hairs beneath, margins entire, apex acute. Flowers: Inflorescence of several open helicoid cymes, becoming elongated and straightening with maturity; calyx segments ovate to lanceolate, 2-4 mm long (4-7 mm long in fruit), softly villous-puberulent with a few longer bristle-like hairs; corolla funnel-shaped with flaring lobes, the tube shorter than to barely equaling the length of the calyx, white with yellow crests in the throat; flowers April- September. Fruits: Nutlets 4, lanceolate, 1.4-2 mm long, smooth, shiny. Ecology: Sandy soils, sagebrush-saltbrush, pinyon-juniper, and pine communities; 1500-2100 m (5000-7000 ft); Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, and Yavapai counties; southwestern Canada, western to southwestern U.S. Notes: Cryptantha gracilis is similar in appearance to C. fendleri but it lacks a prominent central axis and has a more dense inflorescence, broadly conic calyx, and mostly solitary nutlets. A steeped root tea of sanddune cryptantha is used by the Navajo to treat coughs. Synonyms: Cryptantha pattersonii Editor: Springer et al. 2008 Etymology: Cryptantha comes from the Greek krypto, "hidden," and anthos, "flower," a reference to the first described species in the genus which has inconspicuous flowers that self-fertilize without opening;