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Taxon  Report  
Cryptantha barbigera  (A. Gray) E. Greene
Bearded cryptantha,   Bearded forget me not
Cryptantha barbigera is an annual herb that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in western North America.
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

Bloom Period
Subspecies and Varieties:
Genus: Cryptantha
Family: Boraginaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Communities: Creosote Bush Scrub, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Information about  Cryptantha barbigera from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Jepson eFlora


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[swbiodiversity.org] Description, Distribution, Ecology: Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Slender annual herbs, 10-55 cm tall; stems erect, branched at the base and above; branches ascending, spreading-hirsute. Leaves: Alternate and sessile, clustered at the base and scattered along the stems; blades lance-linear to oblong, 3-7 mm broad, 1-7 cm long, obtuse at apex, bristly hirsute. Flowers: White, in scorpioid spikes, these usually paired at the ends of branches, to 15 cm long, densely flowered; calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, 4-10 mm long, constricted above the nutlet, the tips recurved above the constriction, midrib thickened and spreading-hirsute; corolla white, inconspicuous, funnelform, the limb 1-2 mm broad. Fruits: Nutlets usually 4 per flower, lance-ovoid, 1.5-2.5 mm long, strongly warty, the edges rounded or obscurely angled, the back convex, the groove narrow or broad. Ecology: Found on desert sands, along arroyos and on hillsides, below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers March-June. Distribution: c and s CA, c and s NV, s UT, AZ, sw NM; south to n MEX. Notes: Cryptantha is a genus of bristly herbs with white or yellow flowers in spikes that are usually 1-sided and curling like a scorpion-s tail (-scorpioid-). The seeds, called -nutlets- in the borage family, are crucial to identification of the species. As the nutlets are quite small and difficult to examine in the field with a hand lens, it is usually necessary to make a collection of mature material for later identification under a dissecting scope. Cryptantha barbigera is distinguished by being a mostly erect, slender, densely bristly annual with linear to spatulate leaves; calyx erect in flower and constricted with recurved tips in fruit; 4 same-size tuburculate nutlets with rounded margins; and the style longer than the nutlets. Strongly resembles C. nevadensis, but that species often has lax, flexulous branches (ascending in C. barbigera) and a mixture of appressed and spreading hairs on the stems and leaves (spreading hairs only in C. barbigera). Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015 Etymology: Cryptantha comes from the Greek krypto, "hidden," and anthos, "flower," a reference to the first described species in the genus which has inconspicuous flowers that self-fertilize without opening; barbigera means bearded. (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: 05/20/2024).