Plant Species of the Borrego Desert: Boraginaceae: Cryptantha species, Popcorn Flowers

Key to Cryptantha species

1. Perennial; plant bushyC. racemosa
1'. Annual(2)
2. Plant gen wider than tall; all flowers in axils of leafy bractsC. micrantha
2'. Plant taller than wide; flowers bracted or not(3)
3. Flower bracts present on at least some flowers(4)
3'. Flower bracts never present(5)
4. Flower width 0.5-1.5 mm; calyx length in fl 1-2 mmC. maritima
4'. Flower width 1-3 mm; calyx length in fl 3-4 mmC. costata
5. Nutlets winged(6)
5.' Nutlets unwinged(7)
6. Nutlet wings < 0.5 mm, entireC. holoptera
6'. Nutlet wings 0.5-1.0 mm, lobed at tip; calyx appearing inflated due to large wingsC. pterocarya
7. Calyx length in fl 4-6 mm; calyx densely bristled near baseC. barbigera
7'. Calyx length in fl < 4 mm(8)
8. Corolla width 1-2 mm(9)
8. Corolla width 1-8 mm(10)
9. Nutlets 1-2C. ganderi
9'. Nutlets 4C. nevadensis
10. One nutlet bigger than the othersC. angustifolia
10'. Nutlets equal in size(11)
11. Nutlets 1(2); style < half nutlet lengthC. decipiens
11'. Nutlets (1-)4; style 0.9-1.3 x nutlet length(12)
12. Calyx length in fl 1-2 mmC. muricata
12'. Calyx length in fl 2-3.2 mmC. intermedia

 

Characteristics of Borrego Desert Cryptantha species

NameFl
bracted
Nutlet
margin
sharp
or
Winged
Fl width
(mm)
Calyx
length
in fl
(mm)
Calyx
length
in fr
(mm)
# nutletsLength
of
Style
/
Length
of
Nutlets
Nutlet
Back
Smooth
Nutlet
Back
Tubercled
AbundanceOther
Cryptantha racemosaxx0.5-2.21-22-3.5gen 4>>1 x2/5per
Cryptantha micranthax 0.5-61-32-3(1)4 ss1/8plant gen wider than tall; root purplish
Cryptantha maritimas 0.5-1.51-22-3.11-2<= 1x 7/6 
Cryptantha costatasx1-33-44-64>1x(s)1/6margin sharp-angled
Cryptantha holoptera x1-21-22-41-4> 1 x1/2wings < 0.5 mm, entire
Cryptantha pterocarya x1-32-2.53.2-63-4  s1/7wings 0.5-1.0 mm, lobed at tip
Cryptantha barbigera  1-84-65-101-4~1 x8/9 
Cryptantha ganderi  1-23-46-101-2 x 1/4 
Cryptantha nevadensis  1-21.8-44-104>~ 1 x0/2 
Cryptantha angustifolia  1-51-3.62.5-441.6 x5/10one nutlet bigger than the others
Cryptantha decipiens  1-51.5-2.52-41-2< 0.5sx1/0 
Cryptantha intermedia  2-82-3.23.5-61-40.9-1.3 x1/2 
Cryptantha muricata  1-81-22-4.24(2-4)>1 x1/4 
http://tchester.org/bd/species/boraginaceae/cryptantha.html
Updated 10 February 2009.