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Cryptantha pterocarya var. 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
Genus: CryptanthaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual. Stem: branches generally ascending to erect, minutely strigose (hairs distally oriented) and/or soft- to rough-bristly. Leaf: generally sessile, basal and cauline; basal generally not well-developed, often withering at flowering, cauline generally alternate (proximal opposite), distal reduced; generally strigose and/or soft- or rough-bristly, largest bristles generally bulbous-based. Inflorescence: generally terminal, raceme-like or generally spike-like cymes, in groups of 1--5s(>5), generally coiled in bud, generally elongated in fruit; bracts generally 0, flowers also mostly without subtending bracts; pedicel 0--1.5(--3) mm in fruit. Flower: generally unscented; calyx generally lengthening in fruit, appressed to spreading (or recurved) in fruit, persistent or not at maturity, lobes separate to base; corolla deciduous, tube generally = calyx in flower, limb 0.5--11 mm diam, generally rotate, occasionally +- funnelform, white, appendages generally present, 5; anthers included; ovary generally 4-lobed; receptacle elongate, terminating in style and stigma. Fruit: nutlets 1--4, similar or less commonly dissimilar, if dissimilar single different nutlet positioned toward inflorescence axis, nutlets symmetric (or asymmetric), flattened or not, generally gray to brown, often mottled, smooth to tubercled, and/or papillate, dull to shiny, margin rounded, sharp-edged, or a +- flat linear rim or wing; abaxially longitudinal ridge present or not; adaxially grooved above centered attachment scar, groove extending to nutlet tip, attachment scar edges abutted entire length to variably gapped, often fork- or flare-gapped at base; style from receptacle axis extending << or > tip of nutlet(s).
Etymology: (Greek: hidden flowers, from cleistogamous flowers of some South American species, including the type species) Note: Other taxa in TJM2 moved to Eremocarya, Greeneocharis, Johnstonella, Oreocarya. Homostylous (see Oreocarya). The tissue between ovary lobes, interpreted as a modified receptacle, extends to various degrees in fruit, forming what is often called the gynobase, to which the nutlets are laterally attached at maturity, leaving an attachment scar. A single style with a minute stigma arises from the gynobase. The extension of the style tip/stigma relative to the height/length of the nutlet(s) can be important in identification. Species without yellow corolla appendages are generally thought to be self-pollinating, but there is no direct evidence for this. Some species, e.g., Cryptantha ambigua, Cryptantha barbigera, Cryptantha mariposae, are thought to hybridize with co-occurring species. Observation of nutlets, hairs best at 10+ × generally critical for identification. Corolla limb diam much < at end of flowering period, especially noticeable for large-flowered taxa; measurements here attempt to reflect this developmental change, which far exceeds population differences for most taxa. 2n=(12)20, 24 (North American taxa). Some South American species are perennial, cleistogamous, and/or polyploid. One taxon, C. maritima var. pilosa, is found in both North and South America.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Makenzie E. Mabry, and Ronald B. Kelley
Unabridged Reference: Johnston 1925 Contr Gray Herbarium 74:1--125; Simpson & Hasenstab 2009 Crossosoma 35:1--59; Hasenstab-Lehman & Simpson 2012 Syst Bot 37:738--757; Simpson et al. 2013 Madroño 60:24--34; Mabry et al. 2016 Phytotaxa 253:97--130; Simpson & Kelley 2017 Phytotaxa 295:227--236; Simpson et al. 2017 Taxon 66:1406--1420; Mabry & Simpson 2018 Syst Bot 43:53--76; Simpson & Rebman 2021 Phytotaxa 509:185--210; Simpson & Rebman 2022 Madroño 69: in press.
Species: Cryptantha pterocaryaView Description 

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.

Cryptantha pterocarya (Torr.) Greene var. pterocarya
Habit: Plant generally slender, green. Leaf: basal rosette generally not well developed. Flower: calyx 2--3 mm, 3--4.5 mm in fruit, +- wide-ovoid, lobes ovate, widening in fruit. Fruit: nutlet body 1.8--2.8 mm, nutlets dissimilar [forma pterocarya], 1 persistent with margin sharp-angled, not winged, and (2)3 deciduous with margin a +- flat lobed wing > 0.5 mm wide, gray or mottled gray and brown, papillate, generally white-tubercled, or nutlets similar and all winged [forma pseudocycloptera M.E. Mabry & M.G. Simpson], both forms with wings lobed to some extent. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Sandy to gravelly soils; Elevation: (100)200--2630 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SN, Teh, w SnJV, n TR, e PR, GB, D; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul Note: More widespread than the other two varieties; the form with similar nutlets confused in the past with C. cycloptera but differs in having nutlet wings not extending along the base of the nutlet body; see Mabry et al. 2016.
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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Botanical illustration including Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya

botanical illustration including Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya


Citation for this treatment: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Makenzie E. Mabry, and Ronald B. Kelley 2021, Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on February 01, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 01, 2023.

Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre
Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre

More photos of Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cryptantha pterocarya var. pterocarya:
s SN, Teh, w SnJV, n TR, e PR, GB, D
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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.
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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).