Caulanthus species, jewel-flowers


Table of Contents

Introduction
Origin and Meaning of Name
Distinguishing Characteristics and Similar Species
Pictures of Young Plants, Mature Plants, and Dead Plants
Habitat, Distribution and Abundance
References


Introduction

We have four Caulanthus species in the Borrego Desert:

In the table below giving the photographs, the two most distinctive species, C. cooperi and C. lasiophyllus, are placed on the outside columns so that the two more similar species, C. hallii and C. simulans, are side by side.

These species are distinctive enough that nearly all the time plants can be identified simply by matching the pictures below.

All of these species are enormously variable in height, so no conclusions should be drawn from differences in size.

See Distinguishing Characteristics and Similar Species for a list of some of the key characteristics for each species.

Caulanthus cooperi

Caulanthus hallii

Caulanthus simulans

Caulanthus lasiophyllus

Fig. 1. Pictures of the Caulanthus species found in the Borrego Desert. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

All pictures by Tom Chester except for the last picture of Caulanthus simulans by James Dillane. Locations and dates for each pictures are in the file name, given in the URL when you click on the pictures. They aren't given in the usual place below the pictures in order to not interrupt the picture comparsions.

Origin and Meaning of Name

Distinguishing Characteristics and Similar Species

Some of the distinguishing characteristics are given in Table 1. Note that the species are not present in alphabetical order in the columns. They are presented in the same order as in the Figure above, to keep the two most similar species, C. hallii and C. simulans, side by side.

Table 1.

CharacteristicCaulanthus cooperiCaulanthus halliiCaulanthus simulansCaulanthus lasiophyllus
Stemweak, wavy, not stifferect, slender to robusterectgenerally erect, infrequently wavy
Plant hairsnone or minutestiff hairystiff hairystiff hairy
Cauline leaf basesessile, lobed to claspingbase not lobed, not claspingsessile, lobed to claspingpetioled
Pedicel hairsnoneminutedensely bristlynone
Calyx shapeslender, slightly wider at baseurn-shaped (short and fat)urn-shaped (short and fat)uniform in width
Sepal colorwhitish to yellowish to yellow-green (purplish)white to yellowyellowgreenish
Petal coloryellowyellowyellowwhite
Fruit orientationspreading to descending to reflexedascending to spreadingspreading to reflexedgenerally reflexed
Fruit shapegenerally curvedstraight to curvedstraight to curvedcurved, especially near tip

Pictures of Young Plants, Mature Plants, and Dead Plants

Young Plant Pictures

Mature Plant Pictures

Dead Plant Pictures

Habitat, Distribution and Abundance

References


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Copyright © 2014 by Tom Chester.
Commercial rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce any or all of this page for individual or non-profit institutional internal use as long as credit is given to me at this source:
http://tchester.org/bd/species/brassicaceae/caulanthus.html
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 27 March 2014.