Cryptantha leiocarpa

Cryptantha leiocarpa (Fischer & C.A.Meyer) Greene

Pittonia 1: 117 (1887)

[Cryptantha HOME / INICIO]

Cryp-tán-tha  lei-o-cár-pa
Greek leios, "smooth," and karpos, "fruit"
Homotypic Synonyms:
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
      Note: This is the type species for the genus Krynitzkia.
Eritrichium leiocarpum (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) S. Watson, Botany [Fortieth Parallel] 244. 1871
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Cryptantha leiocarpa (Fischer & C. A. Meyer) Greene var. eremocaryoides Brand
   [Isotype: J. Ball s.n., 1884, USA; GH00096056], Pflanzenr. (Engler) IV, Fam. 252 (Heft 97): 53 (1931)


Jepson eFlora Treatment

Treatment from Johnston 1927: 92
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."

Phylogenetic Relationships:
Simpson_etal2017 cladogram
Mabry_Simpson2018 cladogram
Cladograms from: Top, Simpson et al. 2017:1411, cpDNA results; Bottom, Mabry and Simpson 2018:64, Astral results.
In all these results, Cryptantha leiocarpa is part of a well-supported clade with C. hispidissima and these sister to a clade including another sample of the latter plus C. juniperensis and C. nemaclada.

Distribution / Distribución: 

Left: Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2012. North American Plant Atlas (
COLOR KEY: Dark green=present in state; light green=present in county, not rare; yellow=present in county, rare. Accessed 12 Apr 2014.
Right: CCH2; click to see "live" records

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.

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, 30 May 2008 (SDSU19212)
USA, California, Humboldt, Lanphere Dunes, ca. 3.0 miles north-northeast of Manila.
40.89457, -124.14812 5 ft (2 m) elevation

Cryptantha leiocarpa
R.L. Allen s.n., 14 April 2009 (SDSU18440)
Note: Southern-most distribution of this species is here.
33.599107, -117.893422 6 ft (2 m)

Cryptantha leiocarpa
L.S. Rose 65063, 6 May 1965 (HSC3575)
USA: San Francisco Co., Presidio Golf Links
250 ft

Cryptantha leiocarpa
J.W. Johnson 1381, 27 May 1962 (HSC3576)
USA: Humboldt Co., Arcata

Document Viewers