rough menodora, more...
[Menodora scabra var. glabrescens A. Gray, more]
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Allred and Ivey 2012, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Conquist et al. 1984 (Intermountain Flora)
Common Name: rough menodora Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial, usually suffrutescent herb, 10-40 cm tall, from a woody base; stems erect, several to many per plant; stems, leaves and sepals minutely but distinctly rough-hairy (scabrous-puberulent), at least along margins of leaves and sepals; stems sometimes almost hairless. Leaves: Opposite on the lower parts of the stems, becoming alternate above, and sessile or nearly so; blades 1-3 cm long and 1-6 mm wide, linear-oblong to elliptic-oblong, with a tapering base; leaf margins flat or slightly rolled under. Flowers: Showy and bright yellow, arranged in few-flowered, more or less flat-topped racemes at tips of stems; sepals fused at the base into a cup-shape, and topped with 7-13 narrow linear lobes, 3-5 mm long; petals yellow, fused at the base into a tube about equalling the calyx, topped with 5 or 6 spreading lobes, these broadly obovate, 6-8 mm long and 4-6 mm wide. Fruits: Capsules didymous (shaped like 2 spheres stuck together side-by-side), 5-7 mm high and 10-14 mm wide, thin walled, membraneous, and shining; splitting open so the top comes off like a lid (circumsessile) to release 4 seeds from each of the two chambers. Ecology: Found on arid slopes, from 1,500-7,500 ft (457-2286 m); flowers March-September. Distribution: s CA, s UT, AZ, s CO; NM, s TX; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguished by the many green stems from a woody base; the small, linear-oblong leaves that are sessile, fairly dense along the stems, and mostly alternate, especially on the upper stems; the few-flowered inflorescences with bright yellow 5-petaled flowers that have only 2 stamens (a key character of the Oleaceae); and the fruits resembling two shiny globes in which the top pops off to release the seeds (circumsessile), leaving behind two thin-walled cups. Ethnobotany: Root used for back pain; cold infusion used for heartburn and to facilitate labor; also used ceermonially as a life medicine. Etymology: Menodora comes from Greek menos, force or courage, and doron, gift, alluding to medicinal or nutritional qualities; scabra means rough or scurfy. Synonyms: Menodora scabra var. glabrescens, M. scabra var. laevis, M. scabra var. longituba, M. scabra var. ramosissima Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017