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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Boerhavia coulteri - Coulter's spiderling

Synonyms: Senkenbergia coulteri
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Nyctaginaceae

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Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial   Similar Species: Boerhavia spicata
General Desc: One of the most common Boerhavia in Arizona. Erect or decumbent-ascending (reclines along the ground and then ascends) plant with mostly basal leaves and a sticky inflorescence of tiny white to pale pink flowers.
Identification notes: Nearly identical to B. spicata. The fruits have very broad ribs and narrow furrows between them, while the fruits of B. spicata have narrow ribs and wide furrows & lower leaf surface of B. spicata is often dotted with brown glands.
Height: 8 to 60 inches


Habitat Description: Roadsides and dry plains. Sandy, rocky or disturbed soil. Frequently flooded terraces, floodplains and stream banks.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 500 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to pinkish     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jul - Nov
Description: Tiny 5-petaled flowers in elongated, branched clusters that mature from the bottom upwards. Bracts deciduous, much less than half as long as the fruits.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green with reddish margins     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Basal leaves are triangular, stem leaves narrower. Leaves dark green above, lighter green beneath, with reddish margin often wavy or rippled. Leaves and stems both very hairy. Pinkish stems.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Yellow to reddish-brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Fruits with 5 broad ribs/ridges and very narrow, nearly closed grooves/furrows between the ridges. Fruits are 4-22 per elongated cluster (spike), remotely spaced or overlapped by 1to 100% of their length.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
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Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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