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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Polygonaceae | Chorizanthe

33. Chorizanthe brevicornu Torrey in W. H. Emory, Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound. 2(1): 177. 1859.

Plants spreading to erect, 0.5-3(-5) × 0.5-3 dm, thinly pubescent, often with appressed hairs, infrequently somewhat strigose or glabrate. Leaves basal; petiole 0.5-2 cm; blade oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic or spatulate, (1-)1.5-3(-4) × 0.1-1 cm, pubescent. Inflorescences green; bracts 2, similar to proximal leaf blades only more reduced, 0.3-1(-1.5) cm × 1-2.5 mm, becoming sessile and scalelike at distal nodes, linear, acicular, awns 0.2-0.5 mm. Involucres 1, green, 3-5 mm, not corrugate, thinly strigose; teeth divergent, 0.4-1.2 mm; awns uncinate, 0.2-0.5 mm. Flowers included; perianth greenish white to white or pale yellowish white, cylindric, 2-4 mm; tepals connate 3/ 4 their length, monomorphic, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, acute, entire apically; stamens slightly exserted; filaments distinct, 2-3.5 mm, glabrous; anthers white to pale yellow, ovate, 0.3-0.4 mm. Achenes dark brown, lenticular, 3-4 mm.

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora): w United States, nw Mexico.

Chorizanthe brevicornu has stems and branches that easily disarticulate at the nodes. Dried specimens often are reduced to a mere jumble without careful handling. The vegetative fragments will not regenerate new plants, but the involucres (each with a single flower bearing a single achene) easily disarticulate from the parent plant, and with the aid of the awns on the teeth of the involucre, may be readily distributed.

1 Leaf blades oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 0.1-0.3(-0.5) cm wide; involucres prominently ribbed at maturity; Mojave and Sonoran deserts   33a var. brevicornu
+ Leaf blades broadly oblanceolate to broadly spatulate, 0.5-1 cm wide; involucres obscurely ribbed at maturity; Great Basin Desert and Snake River Plains   33b var. spathulata


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