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John M. Miller, except as noted

Annual to perennial herb; generally fleshy. Stem: 1–many, generally glabrous. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; cyme, raceme, panicle, umbel, or flower 1. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals generally 2(9), free; petals (1)2–19, free or ± fused; stamens 1–many, epipetalous or not, anthers pink, rose, or yellow; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovules 1–many, placenta basal or free-central; styles (0)1–8, generally fused at base, branched. Fruit: capsule, circumscissile or 2–3-valved. Seed: 1–many, shiny or ± pebbly or sculptured, black or gray, generally with oil-filled appendage as food for ants.
± 22 genera, ± 230 species: generally temperate America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Kerguelen Is, New Zealand, southern Africa, poorly represented in Europe; some cultivated (Lewisia, Calandrinia). [Ogburn & Edwards 2009 Amer J Bot 96:391–408] All California genera previously included in Portulacaceae; details of flowers, seeds require 20× magnification. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Applequist et al. 2006 Syst Bot 31:310–319; Nyffeler et al. 2008 Haseltonia 14: 26–36]
Unabridged note: May include Hectorellaceae.

Key to Montiaceae


C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller

Annual, perennial herb, ± fleshy, from taproot or fibrous roots, glabrous. Stem: 1–several, generally spreading to ascending. Leaf: basal or basal and cauline, simple, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped; basal rosetted. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or umbel, scapose, bracts generally < sepals, leaf-like or not; flowers generally on 1 side of axis, persistent in fruit or not; pedicels appearing jointed at base with a transverse groove or constriction or not. Flower: sepals 2, ovate to reniform, generally scarious or scarious-margined, persistent in fruit; petals 2–4, < sepals, tips adherent, forming cap in fruit (fruit cap), falling as 1 unit; stamens 1–3, anthers pink, rose, or yellow; style included to exserted, stigmas 2. Fruit: 2-valved, generally compressed, narrowly oblong to ± round, generally translucent, deciduous or not. Seed: 1–many, black, dull, with fine to coarse papillae, to shiny, with papillae 0.
9 species: western North America. (Greek: cap, for petal tips in fruit) [Hershkovitz 2006 Gayana Bot 63:13–74; Simpson et al. 2010 Madroño: 57:145–160] Calyptridium parryi var. arizonicum raised to species rank, as Calyptridium arizonicum, by Simpson et al. (2010) based on morphological and geographic distinctions.
Unabridged references: [Hershkovitz 1990 Phytologia 68:267–270; Hershkovitz 1991a Ann Missouri Bot Gard 78:1009–1021; Hershkovitz 1991b Phytologia 70:209–225; Hershkovitz 1992 Syst Bot 17:220–238; Hershkovitz & Zimmer 2000 Molec Phylogen Evol 15:419–439; Hinton 1975 Brittonia 27:197–208; Howell 1945 Leafl W Bot 4:214–216; Kelley et al. 2003 FNANM: 4:460–464; Thomas 1956 Leafl W Bot 8:9–11]

Key to Calyptridium

C. pygmaeum Rydb. PYGMY PUSSYPAWS
Annual 0.5–8 cm; taproot slender or roots fibrous. Stem: spreading to erect, leafy. Leaf: basal and cauline, 5–1.5 cm, generally persistent in fruit. Inflorescence: axillary, raceme or panicle, ± dense, 0.5–3 cm; bracts ovate to ± round; pedicel 1–3 mm; flowers persistent in fruit. Flower: sepals 2–4 mm, ovate, fleshy, membranous in age, margin white or not; petals 4, 2–3 mm, white; stamens generally 3; stigma ± sessile. Fruit: 3–5 mm, ± ovate to elliptic. Seed: 15–30, 0.4–0.5 mm, shiny, papillae 0.
2n=44. Sandy to gravelly soils, conifer forest; 2100–3200 m. c&s High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains. [Cistanthe pygmaea (Parish ex Rydb.) Hershk.] Jun–Jul [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Calyptridium pygmaeum Parish ex Rydb.

Previous taxon: Calyptridium pulchellum
Next taxon: Calyptridium quadripetalum


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Calyptridium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Calyptridium pygmaeum
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© 2014 Joy England

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Calyptridium pygmaeum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.