branched noseburn, more...
[Tragia angustifolia Nutt., more]
Plant: perennial, < 0.5 m, monoecious, rough-hairy; hairs stinging, nettle-like; stem 1-3 dm Leaves: generally simple, cauline, alternate; stipules persistent, 1-4.5 mm, lanceolate to ovate; petiole 2-20 mm; blade 1-2 cm, lanceolate to ovate, base truncate to ± lobed, margin coarsely, sharply toothed INFLORESCENCE: raceme, terminal or opposite leaf, 0.5-1 cm, ± spreading; pedicels 1-2 mm; staminate flowers 2-4; pistillate flower 1; staminate flowers above pistillate flowers Flowers: Staminate flower: sepals 4-5, ± 1 mm, recurved; petals 0; stamens 3-6, = sepals, filaments ± flattened; nectary 0; Pistillate flower: sepals 5, 1.5-2 mm; petals 0; ovary < 2 mm diam, puberulent to finely bristly, 3-chambered, styles fused in lower 1/3 Fruit: capsule, 3-4 mm, 6-8 mm wide, depressed-spheric, sparsely and finely bristly; Seed 2.5-3.5 mm, ± spheric,1 per chamber, smooth or ± rough; scar not appendaged Misc: Dry, rocky slopes, scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland; 900-1700 m
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Allred and Ivey 2012, Heil et al. 2013
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herbs, 10-30 cm tall, from stout, semi-woody taproots; stems many, ascending to erect, slender, sparsely branching; stems and leaves covered with stinging hairs; sap not milky. Leaves: Alternate along the stems, on short petioles 1-5 mm long; blades narrowly triangular or linear-lanceolate to ovate, 1-5 cm long and 4-20 mm wide, with serrate margins; stipules lanceolate to ovate, 1-4 mm long, in pairs at the base of petioles. Flowers: Separate male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious); racemes located at branch tips and emerging from the stems opposite the leaves, with female flowers at the lower 1-2 nodes of each raceme and male flowers at upper nodes; male flowers with 3-4 sepals, 1-2 mm long, no petals, and 3-4 stamens; female flowers with 6 sepals, 2 mm long, no petals, and an ovary covered with stinging hairs and topped with 3 slender, recurved styles. Fruits: Capsules distinctly 3-lobed, 2-4 mm tall and 6-8 mm wide, explosively dehiscent (splitting open) at maturity; releasing 3 brown globose seeds, 3 mm long. Ecology: Found on rocky slopes from 5,000-7,000 ft (1524-2134 m); flowers April-June. Distribution: MO to TX, west to se CA, s NV, and s UT; also in n MEX. Notes: This perennial herb is small and delicate-looking, but be careful because the whole plant is covered with stinging hairs. Look for the slender stems which turn brown with age; the leaves longer than they are wide, with toothed edges; and if you catch it at the right time, one or two seed pods attached to each stem, usually an inch or two below the stem tip. The seed pods have 3 lobes and explosively split open to release the seeds. Difficult to distinguish from T. nepetefolia, which has more flowers per raceme (6-many), a shorter papillose style, and 3 stamens. T. nepetefolia is also found at lower altitudes, down to 2,500 ft (762 m). Ethnobotany: Infusion used to treat ant bites; plant used to increase the pain threshold of male infants. Etymology: Tragia is the Latinized name of Hieronymus Bock (1498-1554) a German herbalist; ramosa means branched. Synonyms: Tragia angustifolia, Tragia nepetifolia var. ramosa, Tragia stylaris Editor: SBuckley 2010, AHazelton 2017