Cryptantha species

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Scientific Name Cryptantha ambigua USDA PLANTS Symbol CRAM3
Common Name Basin Cryptantha ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31783
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills and montane (5500 to 9000 ft.); dry, sandy or gravelly areas in sagebrush scrub, open woodlands.
Plant: Very hairy annual, multiple stems 2 to 12 inches tall, usually erect.
Leaves: Alternate stem leaves linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long, very bristly to hairy.
Inflorescence: Clusters of developing egg-shaped fruits (nutlets) topped with small white flowers; blossoms are five-lobed, about 1/8-inch across.
Bloom Period: May to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, Wikipedia and Jepson eFlora.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Cryptantha cinerea var. jamesii (Cryptantha suffruticosa, Oreocarya suffruticosa, Oreocarya suffruticosa var. cinerea) USDA PLANTS Symbol CRCIJ
Common Name James' Cryptantha, James' Catseye ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 527550
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to foothills (4000 to 5700 ft.); dry, sandy or gravelly soils in grassy areas and often on sandstone outcrops, bluffs and open woodlands.
Plant: Prostrate to ascending perennial, 4 to 24 inches tall; stems branching from the base as well as above, herbage silvery-white in appearance.
Leaves: Stem leaves oblanceolate to linear, 3/4 to 6 inches long and less than 1/8 to 5/8 inches wide; upper surfaces strigose, lower surfaces strigose and bristly.
Inflorescence: Initially scorpiod cyme of small white flowers, straightening later; blossoms are five-lobed, about 1/4-inch across.
Bloom Period: April to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SW Colorado Wildflowers and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Cryptantha crassisepala USDA PLANTS Symbol
CRCR3
Common Name Thicksepal Catseye, Thicksepal Cryptantha ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
31800
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills (4000 to 7500 ft.); dry sandy or gravelly soils; dunes, slopes, grasslands.
Plant: Short annual, 4 to 6 inches tall; several to many spreading stems with pungent bristles.
Leaves: Very bristly leaves clustered at base and alternate on stems; sessile, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, up to 2 inches long and less than 1/4-inch wide near base, becoming smaller upward.
Inflorescence: Very small white flowers, 1/8-inch across, in dense curled spikes (scorpioide cymes) surrounded by a calyx less than 0.1 inch long, of thick, bristly sepals with prominent ribs; blossoms have 5 rounded lobes; no bracts below cymes. Cymes open and elongate up to 6 inches long as plant matures.
Bloom Period: April to June.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Cryptantha fendleri USDA PLANTS Symbol CRFE3
Common Name Sanddune Cryptantha, Sanddune Catseye, Fendler's Cryptantha ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31807
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (4900 to 9000 ft.); dry, sandy soils in open areas; sagebrush scrub.
Plant: Very hairy annual, 4 to 20 inches tall, single stem with multiple branches, densely hairy.
Leaves: Alternate stem leaves narrowly oblanceolate, 3/4 to 2 inches long, very bristly to hairy.
Inflorescence: Linear array of developing egg-shaped fruits (nutlets) with usually one or two very small white flowers at the tip; blossoms are five-lobed, less than 1/10-inch across.
Bloom Period: May to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and Jepson eFlora.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Cryptantha minima USDA PLANTS Symbol CRMI5
Common Name Little Cryptantha, Little Catseye ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31773
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills (3500 to 8000 ft.); dry, sandy or gravelly soils in prairies, shrublands and disturbed areas,and at the base of rock outcrops.
Plant: Small, bristly hairy annual, 4 to 8 inches tall.
Leaves: Alternate stem leaves linear to oblanceolate, 3/8 to 1-1/4 inches long; surfaces very bristly to hairy and with pustules.
Inflorescence: Spike-like, with leafy bracts along one main axis in upper 2/3 of stem; very small white blossoms are five-lobed, less than 1/16-inch across; sepals with bristly hairs and thick, whitish veins.
Bloom Period: April to June.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, iNaturalist and Status of Tiny Cryptanthe in Alberta.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Cryptantha thyrsiflora (Oreocarya thyrsiflora) USDA PLANTS Symbol CRMI5
Common Name Calcareous Cryptantha, Calcareous Catseye ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31879
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (3800 to 9600 ft.); dry, caliche (calcareous) or rocky soils; pastures, outcrops, bluffs and roadsides.
Plant: Bushy, bristly-hairy perennial with multiple stems, 8 to 16 inches tall.
Leaves: Oblanceolate, 1-5/8 to 4 inches long and 1/4 to 5/8-inch wide; hairy surfaces.
Inflorescence: A compact, erect cluster (thyrse) with many small white blossoms; flowers are five-lobed, less than 1/3-inch across with yellow centers (fornices); sepals covered with thick, white or transluscent bristles.
Bloom Period: May to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and Eastern Colorado Wildflowers .
BONAP Distribution Map


Oreocarya thyrsiflora
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2021