bearded cryptantha, more...
[Eritrichium barbigerum ]
Plant: Annual forb 10-30 cm; stem simple to branched generally below middle, strigose and densely spreading-bristly Leaves: herbage bristly; leaves 1-5(8) cm, linear-oblong to narrowly lanceolate; bristles spreading; basal whorled; cauline generally opposite below, alternate above INFLORESCENCE: cymes, terminal, generally elongated in fruit, dense to open in fruit Flowers: white; sepals free, 4-6 mm, 5-10 mm and narrowly oblanceolate to oblong in fruit, generally spreading-bristly especially at base; corolla tube 3-5 mm, appendages 5, white to yellow, limb 1-2 mm wide; anthers included; ovary generally 4-lobed Fruit: nutlets 4, similar in size, with rounded edges, 1.5-2 mm, lanceolate to ovate, back white-tubercled, groove ± open, especially at forked base, to slightly flared open at base Misc: Open, sandy to rocky soils; 300-2250 m.; Feb-May References: J.C. Hickman. The Jepson Manual. Kearney & Peebles. Arizona Flora. W.B. McDougal. Seed plants of Northern Arizona. ASU specimens.
Wiggins 1964, Felger 2000, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Allred and Ivey 2012, Kelley et al 2014 (Jepson)
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Slender annual herbs, 10-55 cm tall; stems erect, branched at the base and above; branches ascending, spreading-hirsute. Leaves: Alternate and sessile, clustered at the base and scattered along the stems; blades lance-linear to oblong, 3-7 mm broad, 1-7 cm long, obtuse at apex, bristly hirsute. Flowers: White, in scorpioid spikes, these usually paired at the ends of branches, to 15 cm long, densely flowered; calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, 4-10 mm long, constricted above the nutlet, the tips recurved above the constriction, midrib thickened and spreading-hirsute; corolla white, inconspicuous, funnelform, the limb 1-2 mm broad. Fruits: Nutlets usually 4 per flower, lance-ovoid, 1.5-2.5 mm long, strongly warty, the edges rounded or obscurely angled, the back convex, the groove narrow or broad. Ecology: Found on desert sands, along arroyos and on hillsides, below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers March-June. Distribution: c and s CA, c and s NV, s UT, AZ, sw NM; south to n MEX. Notes: Cryptantha is a genus of bristly herbs with white or yellow flowers in spikes that are usually 1-sided and curling like a scorpion-s tail (-scorpioid-). The seeds, called -nutlets- in the borage family, are crucial to identification of the species. As the nutlets are quite small and difficult to examine in the field with a hand lens, it is usually necessary to make a collection of mature material for later identification under a dissecting scope. Cryptantha barbigera is distinguished by being a mostly erect, slender, densely bristly annual with linear to spatulate leaves; calyx erect in flower and constricted with recurved tips in fruit; 4 same-size tuburculate nutlets with rounded margins; and the style longer than the nutlets. Strongly resembles C. nevadensis, but that species often has lax, flexulous branches (ascending in C. barbigera) and a mixture of appressed and spreading hairs on the stems and leaves (spreading hairs only in C. barbigera). Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015