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

31. Chorizanthe watsonii Torrey & A. Gray, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 8: 199. 1870. (as watsoni).

Watson's spineflower

Plants spreading to erect, 0.2-1(-1.5) × 0.2-1(-1.5) dm, densely canescent-strigose. Leaves basal or nearly so; petiole (0.5-)1-2.5(-3) cm; blade oblanceolate, (0.3-)0.5-1.5(-2) × 0.2-0.4(-0.5) cm, thinly floccose to sparsely tomentose. Inflorescences with involucres in small clusters 0.5-1 cm diam., greenish to reddish; bracts 2, with laminar ones oblanceolate, (0.5-)0.8-1.5(-2) cm × (1-)2-4 mm, those at distal nodes becoming sessile, reduced and scalelike, linear-lanceolate, acicular, awns slightly curved, 0.5-1 mm. Involucres 1, green, cylindric, 5-ribbed, 3-4.5 mm, finely corrugate, pubescent; teeth 5, erect, unequal, with leaflike, narrowly lanceolate, 2-6 mm anterior tooth, others linear, 1-2 mm; awn uncinate, 0.4-0.8(-1) mm. Flowers 1, included to slightly exserted; perianth yellow, cylindric, 1.5-2.5 mm, thinly pubescent abaxially; tepals connate ca. 2/ 3 their length, mono-morphic, oblong, acute, entire apically, mostly erect; stamens 3 or 9, slightly exserted; filaments distinct, 0.8-1 mm, glabrous; anthers yellow, ovate, 0.2-0.3 mm. Achenes brown, lenticular, 2.5-3 mm.

Flowering Apr-Aug. Sandy to gravelly flats and slopes, mixed grassland, saltbush and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woodlands; 300-2400 m; Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash.

Chorizanthe watsonii is widely distributed in the cold desert of the Great Basin and in the northern part of the warmer Mojave Desert. Plants in the northern part of the range (especially on the Palouse Prairie of south-eastern Washington) usually have three stamens.


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