Taxon  Report   2358    
Cordylanthus rigidus  (Benth.) Jeps.  ssp. littoralis  (Ferris) T. I. Chuang & Heckard
Seaside bird's beak
Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. littoralis, a dicot, is an annual herb (hemiparasitic) that is native to California, and endemic (limited) to California.
also called Cordylanthus littoralis ssp. littoralis
California Rare Plant Rank: 1B.1 (rare, threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere).   CNDDB
State of California status: Endangered.
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
(85 records)
one or more occurrences
within a 7.5-minute quadrangle

Bloom Period

Habitat: coastal, dunes

Communities: Coastal Strand, Northern Coastal Scrub, Coastal Sage Scrub, Closed-cone Pine Forest, Southern Oak Woodland, Foothill Woodland, Chaparral

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + CNPS + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
CNPSCordylanthus littoralis ssp. littoralis
JEF + PLANTSCordylanthus littoralis
PLANTSCordylanthus rigidus var. littoralis
More information about  Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. littoralis

Key Characteristics: Erect annual herb, a root parasite, 3–15 dm tall, the entire plant yellow (chlorotic),; flowers 5–8 in ± compact, head-like clusters; outer bract lobed in distal 1/2, middle lobe ± lanceolate, tip tapered, inner bract 14–20 mm; corolla 15–20 mm, yellowish, lower side marked maroon in U-shape, pouches white (Wetherwax and Tank 2013). C. rigidus is a variable species with geographically separated but intergrading races (Chuang and Heckard 1986). In our region, it is distinguished rom sspp. rigidus and setigerus by shape of outer inflorescence bracts (see drawings) and generally by color (reddish and with higher chlorophyll concentrations in the latter two subspecies, this perhaps indicating a lesser nutritional reliance on parasitism. (contributed by Cynthia Powell)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals, including the Consortium of California Herbaria. [web application]. 2021. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available:   (Accessed: 10/24/2021).