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, 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.
Photo tips Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
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