Plant: shrubs, dense often spinescent, to 1.5 m tall Leaves: lanceolate, elliptic oblanceolate or circular, 5-15 mm long; apex rounded to acute, commonly mucronate Flowers: with a glandular disk lining the hypanthium; sepals ovate to circular, persistent; petals white, narrowly lanceolate, elliptic, or oblanceolate, 9-15 mm long Fruit: FRUITS horizontally wrinkled or reticulately marked; adaxial suture cartilaginous; SEEDS 4-8; aril usually white Misc: Rock crevices and rocky slopes; 65-1400 m (200-4500 ft); Jan-Apr References: Mason, Charles T., Jr. Crossosomataceae. . Ariz.-Nev. Acad. Sci. 26(1):2.
Common Name: ragged rockflower Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Dense spinescent shrub to 1.5 m tall, with fascicled clusters of leaves grouped in bunches along the stems. Leaves: Alternate, lanceolate to elliptic oblanceolate or circular, 5-15 mm long, the apex rounded to acute, commonly mucronate. Flowers: Terminal or axillary, with a glandular disk lining the hypanthium with 5 ovate to circular sepals 4-5 mm long, 5 white narrowly lanceolate, elliptic, to oblanceolate petals, 9-15 mm long. Fruits: Horizontally wrinkled or reticulately marked with a cartilaginous suture on the upper surface. Ecology: Found in rock crevices or on rocky slopes from 200-4,500 ft (61-1372 m), flowers January-April. Distribution: Ranges across the Arizona deserts to California and north to Nevada, south into Baja and Sonora, and east into Chihuahua. Notes: The glaucous appearance of the leaves, lending them an almost fleshy quality, along with the shrub-s rocky habitat, and the 5 white petals arrayed around the hypanthium are key to distinguish this species. An unassuming plant with attractive flowers, often growing in out of the way places. The flowers resemble those of the family Rosaceae, but this family differs in the lack of stipules subtending the leaves; the seeds with arils; and the unique fruit structure of the several pistils maturing into separate follicles (capsules splitting open along a single line.) Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Crossosoma is drevied from the Greek krossoi, fringe, and soma, body, because of the aril, which is an extra seed covering , bigelovii refers to botanist and physician Jacob Bigelow (1787-1879), author of the first botany textbook. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher and SBuckley, 2011