Random Plant: Yellow cryptantha

DSCF0971

Brenda’s yellow cryptantha (Cryptantha flava, Boraginaceae) photographed 04/11/2014 at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

Yellow cryptantha (Cryptantha flava, Boraginaceae) can be found in many arid locations in the American west. This perennial inhabits open sandy areas from southern Wyoming down into northern Arizona and New Mexico. It features long, narrow, and densely hairy leaves that are largest near the base and become progressively smaller up the stems. At the end of each shoot is a cluster of tiny, yellow, five-parted flowers that appear from April through August. Although there are over 100 species of Cryptantha in western North America, only two have yellow flowers. The similar basin yellow cryptantha (C. confertiflora) has a more western distribution. Other Cryptantha bear white flowers.

DSCF0973

Brenda’s yellow cryptantha (Cryptantha flava, Boraginaceae) photographed 04/11/2014 at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

This plant goes by a couple of other common names including yellow miner’s candle and Brenda’s yellow cryptantha. That lead me to wonder “who is Brenda?” Based on this USDA Forest Service information, Brenda is apparently Brenda Casper, a professor of ecology, evolution, and plant biology at the University of Pennsylvania who has performed considerable research on this plant.

Advertisements

About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, National Parks, Random Plant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s