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Calyptridium pygmaeum

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 pygmaeum Parish ex Rydb.
Habit: 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. Chromosomes: 2n=44.
Ecology: Sandy to gravelly soils, conifer forest; Elevation: 2100--3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: c&s SNH, SnBr. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
Synonyms: Cistanthe pygmaea (Parish ex Rydb.) Hershk.
eFlora Treatment Author: C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: C. Matt Guilliams & John M. Miller 2016. Calyptridium pygmaeum, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2016.

Calyptridium pygmaeum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Michael Charters
Calyptridium pygmaeum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Michael Charters

More photos of Calyptridium pygmaeum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Calyptridium pygmaeum:
c&s SNH, SnBr.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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