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KRAMERIACEAE

RHATANY FAMILY

Beryl B. Simpson

Perennial, shrub, green root-parasite
Stem prostrate to erect, much-branched
Leaves generally simple, alternate, sessile; blade linear to ovate, hairy, sometimes glandular, tip abruptly pointed
Inflorescence: flowers generally solitary in axils; pedicel bracts 2
Flower bisexual, bilateral; sepals 4–5, free, conspicuous; petals generally 5, 3 upper linear to clawed, held in ± upright "flag", 2 modified into glands flanking ovary; stamens generally 4, opening by pores; ovary superior, hairy, style slender, recurved
Fruit nut-like, bearing smooth or barbed spines
Genera in family: 1 genus, 17 species: Am, especially tropical
Reference: [Simpson 1989 Fl Neotropica 49:1–109]
Pollinating bees collect oils secreted by glandular petals.

KRAMERIA

RHATANY


Etymology: (Possibly named for J. Kramer, 1700's, Austrian army physician)

Native

K. grayi Rose & Painter

WHITE RHATANY

Shrub, densely canescent or silky-hairy
Stem < 1 m; branches ± spreading, tips spiny
Leaf narrowly lanceolate
Flower: buds curved upward; sepals reflexed, deep purple-red; flag petals free, blade oblanceolate, base green, tip pink or purple; glandular petals purple, outer face covered with blister-like glands
Fruit ± spheric; spines barbed only at tip
Ecology: Dry, rocky or sandy places, especially on lime soils
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to Nevada, Texas, n Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–May
Synonyms: K. canescens A. Gray
Horticultural information: TRY.

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