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

3. Chorizanthe stellulata Bentham in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle., Prodr. 14: 26. 1856.

Starlite spineflower

Plants erect, 0.5-2.5(-3) × 0.5-3 dm, hirsute. Leaves basal; petiole 0.1-0.5 cm; blade narrowly lanceolate to oblanceolate, 0.5-2 × 0.8-2(-2.2) cm, hirsute. Inflorescences cymose, dichot-omously branched throughout, white to greenish or reddish; bracts usually 2, similar to leaves at proximal nodes only reduced, typically with whorl of 3-5 ca. midstem, short-petiolate, becoming linear and aciculate at distal nodes, acerose, 0.5-2(-3) cm × 10-30(-40) mm, awns absent. Involucres congested in small bracteated terminal clusters of 2-4 at node of dichotomies, tannish, cylindric, slightly ventricose basally, 3-4 mm, with conspicuous, white, broad, membranous margins typically extending up tooth to awn, finely corrugated, hispid at least along ridges, otherwise sparsely pubescent; teeth spreading, equal, 1-1.5 mm, awns straight, 0.5-1 mm. Flowers exserted; perianth cream to creamy white or rose, cylindric, 4-4.5(-5) mm, slightly pubescent abaxially; tepals connate 2/ 3 their length, monomorphic, obovate, obcordate to 2-lobed apically, sometimes slightly irregular but not distinctly erose; stamens 9, slightly exserted; filaments distinct, 4-5 mm, glabrous; anthers pink to red, oblong, 0.5-0.6 mm. Achenes light brown, globose-lenticular, 3.5-4.5 mm. 2n = 38, 40, 44.

Flowering Apr-Jul. Sandy to gravelly flats and slopes, mixed grassland and chaparral communities, oak-pine woodlands; 30-900 m; Calif.

Chorizanthe stellulata can be locally common in the foothills bordering the Central Valley from Shasta County south to Stanislaus County on the western side, and to Tulare County on the eastern side. Post-flowering specimens of starlite spineflower and Douglas's spineflower are sometimes difficult to distinguish. The margins of the involucre in the former are always white; those of C. douglasii are purple.


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