Boraginaceae Cryptantha pterocarya

Cryptantha pterocarya

Cryptantha pterocarya

Family: Boraginaceae – Borage Family

Annual or winter-annual herbs; 3.9” to 1.6' (1 to 5 dm) tall

Leaves: opposite at base, or alternate throughout; simple; generally rough and hairy; 0.4” to 1.6” (1 to 4 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.2” (1 to 5 mm) broad

Flowers: corolla is inconspicuous 0.02” to 0.08” (0.5 to 2 mm) broad; 5 united white petals with a narrow tube and an abruptly flared top; 5 sepals free or united; usually bisexual; 5 stamens; radially symmetrical

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects

Fruits: 4 nutlets

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Other: The genus name, “Cryptantha”, is from the Greek “kryptos” meaning “to hide” and “anthos” meaning “flower”, in reference to the bracts obscuring the flowers on some species. The species name, “pterocarya”, means “winged nut”.

The classification of this family is based primarily upon the structure of the fruit. This genus of plants is only found in America, mostly in the western United States, but also in the deserts of South America.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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