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Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrobanchaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to +- fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1--2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0--5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1--2, placentas 2--4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally +- ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2--4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
Genera In Family: 99 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. Note: High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CordylanthusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BIRD'S-BEAK
Habit: Annual, gray- or yellow-green, often becoming red-purple, generally much-branched; roots +- yellow. Leaf: sessile, entire, thread-like to lanceolate or palmately 3--7-lobed, segments narrow. Inflorescence: short dense spike (subtended by bracts), < 2(5) cm or flowers 1, scattered or often clustered but not in spikes (each subtended by outer bract); outer bracts +- leaf-like; inner bract calyx-like (formerly confused with calyx), 0--7-lobed. Flower: calyx sheath-like, generally divided to base abaxially, partially surrounding corolla tube laterally, tip entire or shallowly notched; corolla club-shaped, tubular proximally, expanded laterally; upper corolla lip folded lengthwise, tip rounded, closed, opening directed downwards forming a hood enclosing anthers, style; lower corolla lip <= upper lip, obscurely 3-lobed, middle lobe tightly rolled under, tip distinctly folded inside-out; fertile stamens (2)4, anther sacs generally 2 per stamen, densely hairy at both ends and ciliate along line of dehiscence, unequal in size and placement; style bent near tip, stigma barely exserted. Seed: attached at side; seed coat tight-fitting, netted or irregularly striate.
Species In Genus: 13 species: western North America. Etymology: (Greek: club-shaped flower) Note: Close to Orthocarpus, distinguished by inflorescence, calyx, stamens; generally flowers Jul--Sep. Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Chloropyron, Dicranostegia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & David C. Tank
Species: Cordylanthus rigidusView Description 

Habit: Plant 30--150 cm, yellow-green or tinged red, generally +- bristly, generally not glandular. Leaf: 10--40 mm, +- linear, often inrolled, lobes 0--3. Inflorescence: flowers 5--15 in +- compact, head-like clusters; outer bract generally 1 per flower, 5--20 mm, generally 3-lobed; inner bract 14--20 mm. Flower: calyx 10--20 mm, tube 1--2 mm; corolla 12--20 mm, +- yellow, lower side marked maroon in U-shape, pouch 3--10 mm wide, white. Seed: 1.5--2 mm, +- ovoid, wavy-striate, dark brown. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Note: Highly variable, intergrading. Many geographic races, variably distinct; 5 most discrete (1 in Baja California) considered subspecies.

Cordylanthus rigidus (Benth.) Jeps. subsp. rigidus
Inflorescence: 5--15-flowered, 20--40 mm wide; outer bract 15--20 mm, lobed in lower 1/2, +- scabrous, middle lobe linear to oblong, tip linear or wider and notched. Flower: corolla 12--20 mm.
Ecology: Open foothill woodland, chaparral margins, conifer forest; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: c&s SN, CW (exc n SnFrB), WTR, SnGb. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep
Synonyms: Cordylanthus ferrisianus Pennell; Cordylanthus littoralis (Ferris) J.F. Macbr. subsp. platycephalus (Pennell) Munz; Cordylanthus rigidus var. compactus (Pennell) D.W. Taylor; Cordylanthus rigidus var. ferrisianus (Pennell) D.W. Taylor
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & David C. Tank
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botanical illustration including Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus


Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax & David C. Tank 2016. Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
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© 2012 Aaron Schusteff
Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Aaron Schusteff
Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Aaron Schusteff
Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
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© 2011 Barry Breckling
Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus
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© 2003 Michael Charters

More photos of Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cordylanthus rigidus subsp. rigidus:
c&s SN, CW (exc n SnFrB), WTR, SnGb.
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.