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Taxon  Report  
Pityopus californicus  (Eastw.) H. F. Copel.
Pityopus californicus is a perennial herb (mycoparasitic) that is native to California.
California Rare Plant Rank: 4.2 (limited distribution).
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial
Observation Search
~168 records in California
yellowone or more occurrences
within a 7.5-minute quadrangle

Bloom Period
Genus: Pityopus
Family: Ericaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Communities: North Coastal Coniferous Forest, Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Mixed Evergreen Forest
Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + CNPS

Information about  Pityopus californicus from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Jepson eFlora

Photos on Calflora

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Google Images

Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[fs.usda.gov] Description, Habitat: Pityopus californicus (Pityopus Pine foot from it's habitat) is the smallest of the mycotrophic wildflowers in the Heath family. It ranges in height from 1to 10 centimeters. The entire plant is a pale creamy white. The leaves are crowded and scale-like on the flower stalk (peduncle). The inflorescence is a raceme of 2 to 11 flowers at the tip of the stem. Upon emerging from the ground, the flowers are pendant. As the anthers and stigma mature, the flowers are spreading to all most perpendicular to the stem. In 1950, noted California botanist, J.T. Howell noted that the odor of the mature plants resembled over-ripe Brie cheese and would be attractive to some animals. The fruit is a capsule. As the capsule matures, the flowers become erect. Once ripened, seed is released through slits that open from the tip to the base of the capsules. The plant is not persistent after seed dispersal. Pityopus californicus flowers from early summer to mid autumn. It is found in mature, moist, shaded, mixed or coniferous forests up to 1,800 meters in elevation. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 04/22/2024).