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

Gayophytum diffusum Torr. & A. Gray
Diffuse Groundsmoke (spreading groundsmoke)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23843)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Gayophytum diffusum
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Gayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum

Species Information

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Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems 15-60 cm tall, usually much branched especially above, glabrous to densely soft-hairy.
Linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1.5-5 cm long, 1-2 (7) mm wide, entire, gradually reduced upward.
Inflorescence raceme-like, several-flowered, the flowers on slender stalks, opening at dawn; petals 1.2-3 mm long, white to pinkish; sepals 1-3 mm long; largest stamens 0.9-2 mm long; ovaries hairy.
Capsules, 4-12 mm long, cylindric, glabrous to soft-hairy, constricted between seeds, 4 chambers; stalks erect to spreading, 2-8 mm long, thread-like; seeds 3-18, alternate to nearly opposite when compared between chambers, sometimes in 2 rows in a chamber and overlapping, 1-1.5 mm long, glabrous to densely fine-hairy.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe zone; infrequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to MT, SD, NM and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Gayophytum diffusum

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) 585 1000 1966
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
15 200 345
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
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: ESSF(1), IDF(22), MS(4), PP(8)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References