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

15. Chorizanthe obovata Goodman, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 21: 70. 1934.

Spoon-sepal spineflower

Plants erect to prostrate, (0.5-)1-3(-4) × 1-4(-5) dm, pubescent. Leaves basal; petiole 0.5-2(-3) cm; blade oblanceolate, 0.5-2.5 × 0.3-1 cm, thinly pubescent adaxially, soft-hirsute abaxially. Inflorescences with involucres in open clusters 2-4(-6) cm diam., greenish or reddish; bracts 2-3 at proximal node, usually leaflike, without whorl of sessile bracts about midstem, elliptic, 0.5-1.5 cm × 2-6(-8) mm, abruptly reduced above proximal node, becoming scalelike, linear, aciculate, acerose, 0.2-1 cm × 1-3 mm, awns straight, 1-2 mm. Involucres 3-10+, grayish, urceolate, slightly ventricose basally, 3-4 mm, slightly corrugate, without scarious or membranous margins, thinly to densely pubescent; teeth erect to spreading, unequal, 1-2 mm; awns straight or uncinate with longer anterior one straight, mostly 1 mm, others uncinate, 0.5-1 mm. Flowers exserted; perianth bicolored with floral tube greenish white to white and tepals white to pink, cylindric, 4-4.5(-5) mm, sparsely pubescent; tepals connate 1/ 2 their length, dimorphic, obovate, those of outer whorl spreading, 2 times longer than those of inner whorl, rounded or slightly obcordate apically, those of inner whorl erect, narrower, fimbriate apically; stamens (6-)9, mostly included; filaments distinct, 4-4.5 mm, glabrous; anthers yellow to golden, oblong, 0.9-1.1 mm. Achenes brown, globose-lenticular, 3-3.5 mm. 2n = 38, 40, 42.

Flowering May-Jul. Sandy or calcareous soils, mixed grassland, coastal scrub, or chaparral communities, pine-oak woodlands; 10-1300 m; Calif.

Chorizanthe obovata is found in the Coast Ranges. The whitish flowers quickly distinguish it from C. palmeri and the other reddish-flowered members of this complex. Immature plants can be confused with C. staticoides; the floral features readily separate the two species.


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