Plant Image
Willow Dells Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cryptantha micrantha - redroot cryptantha

Synonyms: Eremocarya lepida, Eremocarya micrantha var. micrantha
Other Common Names: greater alley cat's-eye, purple-rooted forget-me-not, purpleroot pick-me-not, redroot catseye
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Boraginaceae

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Leaves and stems
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Nutlets (fruit)
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Rounded to cushion-like or taller than wide; taproot generally red, red roots bleed a red stain; roots purple when dry; stem branched throughout; branches spreading to erect. Flower spikes are only mildly curving, flowers white.
Identification notes: Taproot bleeds a red stain; stems slender, branched mostly above, covered in small, appressed hairs; nutlets sit on top of a dilated receptacle that is longer than the nutlets; style is visible at the top of the nutlets, nutlets open longitudinally.
Height: 2 to 6 inches


Habitat Description: Found on sandy soil, common in creosote shrub lands.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2000 - 7000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Feb - Jun
Description: Tiny white flowers, less than 1/8 inch, on small, terminal clusters that are curving but not as strongly as other Cryptantha.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Bright 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: Lower leaves opposite, upper leaves alternate. Leaves approximately 1/4 inch long.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green turning to brown   
Fruit Type: Nutlet
Fruit Notes: Nutlets 4, all the same size, lance-like in shape, with rounded margins.

  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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