Plant Image
Flower heads

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cryptantha gracilis - narrowstem cryptantha

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Boraginaceae

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Leaves and flowers
Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Annual herb with simple or branched stem; branches are decumbent (lying on ground) to erect. Stems are finely grooved or furrowed and densely hairy.
Identification notes: Calyx broadly conic at the base; nutlets 1 to 3, smooth; style definitely not reaching the tips of the nutlets; spikes bractless.
Height: 6 to 10 inches


Habitat Description: Sandy to rocky soils, west-facing limestone hillsides in creosote bush scrub and pinyon juniper woodland areas.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to yellowish     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Apr - Jun
Description: The flowering spikes are coiled and compact,only ¼ to ¾ inch long, and never become fully elongated.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate and opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are 1/2 to 1 inch long, simple, linear to narrowly oblanceolate. Leaves and stems are densely bristly and hairy.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green to brownish   
Fruit Type: Nutlet
Fruit Notes: Usually only one nutlet. If there are 2 or 3 then 1 or 2 are small and undeveloped. Nutlets are tiny and lanceolate to narrowly ovate, smooth and shiny with a raised line on the inside surface.

  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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