Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Cryptantha pterocarya

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, or shrub, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate-decumbent to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, simple, generally alternate, sometimes opposite, especially at base. Inflorescence: cymes, arranged singly or in groups of 2--5, generally coiled in flower, generally elongating in fruit. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused at least at base; corolla 5-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, appendages (often called "fornices") 0 or 5 at top of tube, when present often differentially pigmented, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary superior, 4-lobed, style 1, entire or minutely 2-lobed (2-branched). Fruit: nutlets 1--4, when > 1, all similar (often called "homomorphic") or 1 or 2 dissimilar in size and/or shape from the others (often called "heteromorphic"), free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, +- 1600--1700 species: mostly temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Sometimes still treated in broader sense of TJM2 (e.g., APG IV 2016 Bot J Linn Soc 181:1--20), but recent evidence (Luebert et al. 2016) supports segregation, for our flora, of the families Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, and Namaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael G. Simpson, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, David J. Keil, Ronald B. Kelley, Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti & Michael G. Simpson
Cryptantha pterocarya (Torr.) Greene
Habit: Plant 5--50 cm, green to grayish. Stem: branches 0--few, occasionally many, throughout; strigose and short-rough-hairy, hairs ascending and spreading. Leaf: 0.5--4 cm, linear to oblong or lanceolate, generally strigose to short rough-hairy, hairs occasionally spreading on margins, generally bulbous-based. Inflorescence: cymes in (1s) 2s or 3s; bracts 0; pedicel 0--0.5(--0.8) mm, spreading to occasionally ascending. Flower: calyx 1.5--3 mm, 2.5--7(--8) mm in fruit, early-deciduous, lance-ovoid to wide-ovoid, lobes lanceolate to ovate, margins sparse- to dense-strigose or ascending-rough-hairy, +- brown, midvein +- thickened with 0--few spreading bristles; corolla deciduous, limb 1.5--2.5(--3) mm diam, appendages minute or 0. Fruit: nutlets (3)4, similar or dissimilar, body (minus wing margin) 1.2--3.2 mm, lanceolate to lance-ovate, +- not flattened, gray, +- brown, or mottled gray and brown, glossy, margin sharp-angled or a flat linear rim or more commonly lobed-winged, base truncate with no wing, tip tapered; abaxially low-rounded, ridge 0; adaxially convex, attachment scar edges not raised, abutted toward tip, +- gapped proximal 1/2 or abutted entire length, +- triangular-gapped at base; receptacle base without stipe; style extended generally = nutlet length.

Jepson eFlora Author: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Makenzie E. Mabry, and Ronald B. Kelley
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Makenzie E. Mabry, and Ronald B. Kelley 2021, Cryptantha pterocarya, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on October 04, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 04, 2023.

Cryptantha pterocarya
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Cryptantha pterocarya
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Cryptantha pterocarya
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© 2002 Gary A. Monroe
Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Cryptantha pterocarya var. purpusii
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© 2014 Keir Morse
Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera
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© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cryptantha pterocarya:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).