Red Maids

Calandrinia ciliata

Red Maid

Color: Magenta to Red, less commonly white

Common name: Red Maids

Latin name: Calandrinia ciliata


Height: 14-16 inches

Description: Succulent plants with spreading stems, flowers in leafy clusters with shiny petals generally 5, 4–15 mm, stamens 3–15 and two sepals.
Leaf: 1–10 cm, linear to oblanceolate, flat

Range: California Floristic Province, w Modoc Plateau, s East of Sierra Nevada, n Desert Mountains (Coso Range)

Habitat: Common. Sandy to loamy soil, grassy areas, cultivated fields

Elevation: < 2200 m.

Flowering time: Mostly Feb–May

Notes: Common in the upper Sonora Desert especially in Arizona after an abundant rainfall where half the population may be white. The Calandrinia genus was named after J.L. Calandrini, Switzerland, born 1703. This is a hardy plant well adapted to many habitat and climate types which is also known as a minor weed.

Horticulture information: Given full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows especially well in zones 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 and also in zones 4, 5, and 6. Given moderate summer watering, and full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows especially well in zones 10, 11, and 12 and also in zones 1, 2, 3, and 13.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

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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