Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Calyptridium monospermum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MontiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 22 genera, +- 230 species: generally temperate America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Kerguelen Is, New Zealand, southern Africa, poorly represented in Europe; some cultivated (Lewisia, Calandrinia). Note: All CA genera previously included in Portulacaceae; details of flowers, seeds require 20× magnification.
Unabridged Note: May include Hectorellaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CalyptridiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: PUSSYPAWS
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 9 species: western North America. Etymology: (Greek: cap, for petal tips in fruit) Note: Calyptridium parryi var. arizonicum raised to species rank, as Calyptridium arizonicum, by Simpson et al. (2010) based on morphological and geographic distinctions.
eFlora Treatment Author: C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller

Calyptridium monospermum Greene
Habit: Perennial herb < 50 cm; caudex short, thick; taproot slender to thick. Stem: generally spreading to ascending, leafy to not. Leaf: basal 1.5--6 cm, rosette 1; cauline generally present, 0.8--3 cm. Inflorescence: axillary, umbel, +- open (dense in small plants), >= 2 per rosette, 1--10 cm diam; pedicel +- 0 to short. Flower: sepals 3--8 mm, +- round, scarious; petals 4, 3--7 mm, rose to white; stamens 3; style 2--4 mm, thread-like, exserted, falling with fruit cap. Fruit: 2--3.5 mm, widely ovate to +- round; deciduous or not. Seed: 1--4(8). Chromosomes: 2n=44.
Ecology: Open areas, sandy or gravelly soils, conifer forest; Elevation: 300--3970 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, CaR, SN, SnFrB, TR, SnJt, GB; Distribution Outside California: southern Oregon, Nevada, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep Note: Hybridizes with Calyptridium umbellatum in SN.
Synonyms: Cistanthe monosperma (Greene) Hershk.
eFlora Treatment Author: C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller
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botanical illustration including Calyptridium monospermum


Citation for this treatment: C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller 2017. Calyptridium monospermum, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Calyptridium monospermum
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Calyptridium monospermum
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© 2011 Barry Breckling
Calyptridium monospermum
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Calyptridium monospermum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Calyptridium monospermum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Calyptridium monospermum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Calyptridium monospermum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Calyptridium monospermum:
KR, NCoRH, CaR, SN, SnFrB, TR, SnJt, GB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.