Sunday, March 20, 2016

Achyronchia cooperi (Frost Mat, Onyx Flower)

 2/19/05 Hwy. 78, Imperial Sand Dunes, N. Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area,
Imperial County, CA


2/27/05 San Felipe Wash, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, CA


COMMON NAME: Frost Mat, Onyx Flower

SPECIESAchyronchia cooperi

FAMILY: Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)


LOCATION: Hwy. 78, Imperial Sand Dunes, N. Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area, Imperial County, CA


Treatment from The Jepson Manual (1993):

Annual, prostrate to ascending, glabrous to ± hairy, taproot

Stems many, 3–17 cm

Leaf: stipules 0.1–0.4 mm, ± ovate, scarious, ± fringed, white; blade 3–20 mm, oblanceolate; vein 1

Inflorescence: cyme, axillary; flowers 20–60+; pedicels 0.5–2.5 mm

Flower 2.5–3 mm; hypanthium in fruit ± cylindric; calyx abruptly expanded above; sepals 5, free, ± 1.2–1.5 mm, ovate to reniform, green, fleshy, margin wide, scarious, ± jagged, white, deciduous; petals 0; fertile stamens 1–2, sterile stamens 14–19, ± 0.5 mm, thread-like, arising from hypanthium rim; ovary superior, style 2-branched in upper 1/2, 0.3–0.4 mm

Fruit: utricle, ovoid; teeth 8–10, minute

Seed 1, ± 1 mm, ovoid, ± compressed, tan, red dot near narrow end

Ecology: Sandy slopes, flats, washes

Elevation: 50–700 m.  

Bioregional distribution: Desert 

Distribution outside California: Arizona, Mexico

Flowering time: Jan–May

Closely related to and possibly same as  Scopulophila.

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