Cryptantha leiocarpa (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) Greene
Pittonia 1: 117. 1887

Cryptantha s.s. HOME

Cryp-tán-tha  lei-o-cár-pa
Greek leios, "smooth," and karpos, "fruit"

Echinospermum leiocarpum Fischer & C. A. Meyer, Index Seminum [St. Petersburg] 2: 36. 1835 (Basionym)
Krynitzkia leiocarpa (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) Fischer & C. A. Meyer, Index Sem. (St. Petersburg) 7: 52. 1841
Eritrichium leiocarpum (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) S. Watson, Botany [Fortieth Parallel] 244. 1871
Cryptantha leiocarpa (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) Greene var. eremocaryoides Brand
   [Isotype: J. Ball s.n., 1884, USA; GH 00096056], Pflanzenr. (Engler) IV, Fam. 252 (Heft 97): 53. 1931

Cryptantha of California (Kelley et al. 2012. The Jepson eFlora)

Johnston 1925 Description
From Johnston 1925, p. 92: "This is a very well marked coastal species, but has been greatly misinterpreted in the past and at various times made to include nearly all the smooth-fruited species of the genus. Study of material in the Gray Herbarium which was raised from authentic seeds received from St. Petersburg, Hamburg and Geneva, shows clearly that the name should be applied to the sea-shore plant of middle and northern California which has bracteate spikes, long styles, and small ovate smooth nutlets with a simple or barely forked groove. Occasionally it grows with C. hispidissima and has been confused with that species, although it is readily separable from it by its bracteate spikes, shorter ovate nutlets, simple or barely forked groove, and commonly smaller corollas. The leaves are usually 1-3 mm. broad, but in some peculiar forms from Surf, Santa Barbara County, California, which apparently grew with the common form, the leaves are broadly oblong, retuse and nearly 10 mm. broad."


Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2012. North American Plant Atlas (
Chapel Hill, N.C. [maps generated from Kartesz, J.T. 2010. Floristic Synthesis of North America, Version 1.0. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). (in press)].
COLOR KEY: Dark green=present in state; light green=present in county, not rare; yellow=present in county, rare. Accessed 12 Apr 2014.

Representative Specimens:
Plants prostrate to decumbent. Flowers bracteate. Nutlets (3)4, smooth, shiny, ovate, 1.6–2 mm long
margins angled to rounded. Corolla limb 1–2.5(3.5) mm wide.
[Click on image for higher magnification.]

Nutlets + calyx
Scale bar = 1 mm

Nutlet, dorsal view
Scale bar = 1 mm

Nutlet, ventral view
Scale bar = 1 mm

Nutlet, side view
Scale bar = 1 mm

Cryptantha leiocarpa
M.G. Simpson 3032 (SDSU 19212)
30 May 2008
40.89457, -124.14812 5 ft (2 m)

Cryptantha leiocarpa
R.L. Allen s.n. (SDSU 18440)
14 April 2009
33.599107, -117.893422 6 ft (2 m)

Cryptantha leiocarpa
L.S. Rose 65063, 6 May 1965 (HSC 3575)
USA: San Francisco Co., Presidio Golf Links
250 ft

Cryptantha leiocarpa
J.W. Johnson 1381, 27 May 1962 (HSC 3576)
USA: Humboldt Co., Arcata