E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cryptantha torreyana (A. Gray) Greene
Torrey's cryptantha
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13961)

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Distribution of Cryptantha torreyana
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems simple or branched, with straight, appressed and spreading, stiff hairs, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves smaller, withering; stem leaves linear to narrowly oblong, 0.3-3 cm long, uniformly hairy with somewhat appressed to spreading hairs, entire, alternate.
Inflorescence of naked, coiled "spikes", tending to be paired, typically raised somewhat above the leafier part of the plant; petals white, fused at base into a tube that spreads (about 1 mm wide) at the top to 5 tiny lobes, with 5 bulges at the throat; fruiting calyces 4-8 mm long, stiffly appressed-hairy and spreading-bristly.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, 1.5-2.3 mm long, egg-shaped, usually smooth and shining, with medial groove forked and closed at base.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic rocky slopes, grasslands and shrublands in the lowland and steppe zones; infrequent in SC BC and on S Vancouver Island; S to UT, WY and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cryptantha torreyana

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 915 1237 1480
Slope Gradient (%) 15 46 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
182 207 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(2), IDF(2), MS(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cryptantha calycosa (A. Gray) Rydb.
Cryptantha eastwoodiae H. St. John
Cryptantha flexulosa (A. Nelson) A. Nelson
Cryptantha torreyana var. calycosa (A. Gray) Greene
Cryptantha torreyana var. pumila (A. Heller) I.M. Johnst.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References