brittle spineflower, more...
spreading to erect, 0.5-3(-5) × 0.5-3 dm, thinly pubescent, often with appressed hairs, infrequently somewhat strigose or glabrate. Leaves
basal; petiole 0.5-2 cm; blade oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic or spatulate, (1-)1.5-3(-4) × 0.1-1 cm, pubescent. Inflorescences
green; bracts 2, similar to proximal leaf blades only more reduced, 0.3-1(-1.5) cm × 1-2.5 mm, becoming sessile and scalelike at distal nodes, linear, acicular, awns 0.2-0.5 mm. Involucres
1, green, 3-5 mm, not corrugate, thinly strigose; teeth divergent, 0.4-1.2 mm; awns uncinate, 0.2-0.5 mm. Flowers
included; perianth greenish white to white or pale yellowish white, cylindric, 2-4 mm; tepals connate 3/ 4 their length, monomorphic, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, acute, entire apically; stamens slightly exserted; filaments distinct, 2-3.5 mm, glabrous; anthers white to pale yellow, ovate, 0.3-0.4 mm. Achenes
dark brown, lenticular, 3-4 mm. Chorizanthe brevicornu
has stems and branches that easily disarticulate at the nodes. Dried specimens often are reduced to a mere jumble without careful handling. The vegetative fragments will not regenerate new plants, but the involucres (each with a single flower bearing a single achene) easily disarticulate from the parent plant, and with the aid of the awns on the teeth of the involucre, may be readily distributed.
References: Arizona Flora, Phytologia (Vol.66, No.2, May 1989).J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual.ASU specimens.
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Erect annual with several to numerous puberulent, greenish stems branching profusely from base often very brittle at nodes when mature. Leaves: Mostly basal, petiolate, oblanceolate-spatulate, 3-6 cm long, strigose-puberulent, bracts foliaceous at lower nodes, acerose above, acerose ones 3-6 mm long, reddish. Flowers: Involucres solitary in axils, 3-angled, 6 ribbed toward apex of puberulent tube, this 3.5-6 mm long, somewhat falcately curved, 6-toothed, teeth short, subequal, 1 mm long or less, uncinate; perianths short-pedicellate, 3-4 mm long, almost or completely included, greenish yellow, lobes similar, linear-oblong, about 1 mm long, 3 stamens inserted at base of perianth tube, opposite inner lobes. Fruits: Achenes slightly curved, slightly exserted. Ecology: Found on sandy desert slopes, flats, and washes below 2,500 ft (762 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: WA and ID to AZ, UT, and CA Notes: This species is often recognizable by its diffuse branching, largely devoid of leaves, and what leaves there are they are often very reduced. Can be confused in a small measure in appearance with Nemacladus glanduliferus, but pay attention to the ocrea in C. brevicornu and you will have no problem. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genera has use. Etymology: Chorizanthe comes from Greek chorizo, to divide, and anthos flower, referring to the divided calyx, while brevicornu means short-horned. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010