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Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cryptantha crassisepala - thicksepal cryptantha

Other Common Names: thick sepal cat’s eye
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Boraginaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual   Similar Species: Cryptantha minima
General Desc: Annual herb without rosettes of basal leaves. Numerous stems, each produces numerous tiny white flowers.
Identification notes: The 3 similar nutlets are not winged. Cryptantha minima, a very similar species, has bractlets at the bases of the flowers.
Height: Under 6 inches


Habitat Description: Open, disturbed mesquite shrub land and grassland. Deep, fine sandy soil. Sand-sage prairie, prairie slopes, dry, sandy or silty soils.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 6000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: May - Jul
Description: Tiny white flowers are borne on an elongated stem 1 to 5 inches long. There are no bractlets at bases of flowers.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are alternate, simple, and linear to lanceolate, 1/2 to 1 inch long, 1/8 inch wide, stiff and hairy, with smooth margins. Leaf tips are pointed or rounded.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Greenish   
Fruit Type: Nutlet
Fruit Notes: Nutlets are covered with minute bumps, each containing a single seed. Nutlets occur in clusters of 4. One nutlet is smoother, much larger and taller than the other three.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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