Herbs, glabrous or sometimes minutely and sparsely pubescent with pale, curved, occasionally gland-tipped hairs on stems and veins of leaves. Stems erect to ascending, 5-15 dm. Leaf blades broadly oblong-lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate to linear (and then subsessile), proximal blades 10-90 × 1-30 mm, proportionately wider than distal blades (except for linear-leaved forms), margins entire, plane, glabrous or glabrate. Perianths deep pink to red-violet, 7-10 mm. Fruits slightly to notably gibbous, striate, 8-11(-14) mm, sometimes weakly warty at least on gibbous side. Flowering mid summer-fall. Rocky soils, washes, slopes, roadsides, limestone and calcareous soils, desert scrub to pine and oak woodlands; 500-2000[-2500] m; N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico (Sonora). In the eastern and southern portions of its range, Cyphomeris gypsophiloides is often slightly pubescent, with slightly undulate leaf margins, and slightly warty fruits. Such plants may represent results of secondary contact with C. crassifolia.
FNA 2004, Correll and Johnston 1973, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Allred and Ivey 2012
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 50-150 cm tall, from a slightly woody base; stems erect or ascending and much-branched, the branches slender, with glutinous bands near the middle of the upper internodes. Leaves: Opposite, on slender petioles 5-25 mm long; blades 2-7 cm long and 3-30 mm wide, narrowly triangular to lanceolate, the upper leaves usually linear; upper leaf surface green and lower surface slightly waxy (glaucescent). Flowers: Purplish or red, in slender racemes 5-16 cm long at branch tips, each flower on a 1 mm pedicel and subtended by a single narrow bract, 4-7 mm long; petals 5, fused onto a bell-shape, 7-9 mm long and 3 mm wide, pink-purple to bright red; stamens protruding well beyond petals. Fruits: Achenes 1 cm long, asymmetrical and club-shaped, with fine longitudinal stripes; containing a single brown obovoid seed, 4 mm long. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes, washes, and roadsides, from 4,000-6,000 ft (1219-1829 m); flowers June-September. Distribution: NM, w TX; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguish this leggy perennial herb by its pairs of long and narrow lance-shaped leaves; long racemes of delicate bright pink-purple bell-shaped flowers which are a little less than 1 cm long; followed by single-seeded fruits which are asymmetrical and bulbous at the top and gradually narrowing toward the base. Some treatments list this species as having bright red flowers, but photos of fresh material and recent treatments support the flowers being pinkish purple. Appears similar to some species of Boerhavia, but in that genus the fruits are symmetrical, and most Boerhavia spp are more or less covered with gland-tipped hairs. Could also be mistaken for a Mirabilis with its purple bell-shaped flowers, but that genus also lacks the club-shaped fruits, and Mirabilis flowers are always subtended by a set of 5 fused bracts. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Cyphomeris comes from the Greek kyptos, humped, and meris, part, alluding to the shape of the fruit; gypsophiloides means gypsum-loving. Synonyms: Boerhavia gypsophiloides Editor: AHazelton 2017