California Spectacle Pod,
California Shieldpod

Dithyrea californica

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)



Deserts of California, Nevada, western Arizona, northwestern Mexico.


Sandy washes, sandy dunes and scrub below 4500 feet.

Spectacle Pod



Four fragrant white to pale lavender petals on each flower, about half inch long blooming at the tops of the branches. Typically blooms from March through May depending on water and temperature.


Annual plant with basal leaves. Stems branch out from the base of the plant, ranging from 4 inches to 2 feet tall. Eccentric looking fruit fans out in pairs from the stems in flat shapes reminiscent of spectacles, hence the name "spectacle pod". Dithyrea in Greek means two shields; the other name for the plant is California shieldpod.

Each half of the double fruit holds just one seed. The plant is plentiful after rains.

Spectacle Pod Close Up



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