Western Forget-me-not

Cryptantha circumscissa


Western Forget-me-not

Color: White

Common name: Western Forget-me-not, cushion catseye

Latin name: Cryptantha circumscissa


Height: < 4 inches

Description: Tiny 5-part flowers that often occur in coiled, spike-like clusters; cushion-like; taproot generally red, purple when dry. Stem: bristly or rough-hairy; much-branched throughout, with stiff, straight, sharp hairs. Inflorescence: flowers 1–5 per cluster.

Leaf: 0.3–1.5 cm, linear to narrowly oblanceolate ((lance-shaped, with the broad end at the top)) bristly to rough-hairy.

Range: Sierra Nevada, s San Joaquin Valley, Inner South Coast Ranges, e South Coast, Transverse Ranges, e Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert

Habitat: Sandy soils

Elevation: 300–3700 m.

Flowering time: Jul–Aug

Notes: Photographed May 1, 2005 in the Mojave desert north of Barstow (San Bernardino County, Calif. A dicot, it is an annual herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Distribution outside California: to Washington, Colorado; also in s S. America.

There are several species of Cryptantha that occur in the Mojave Desert and even the most experienced botanists may have trouble identifying them.

Western Forget-me-not with penny for scale

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