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

Cryptantha ambigua (A. Gray) Greene
obscure cryptantha (basin cryptantha)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Cryptantha ambigua
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot, with long, spreading hairs and also shorter, straight, appressed hairs; stems usually with several branches from near the base, 5-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves few and small or absent; stem leaves linear to linear-oblong, 1-4 cm long, alternate, entire.
Inflorescence of several coiled,1-sided, spikelike arms; petals white, fused into a short tube that spreads (2-4 mm wide) at the top to 5 lobes, with 5 yellow bulges at the throat; calyces 4-6 mm long in fruit, densely straight, appressed-hairy and spreading-bristly.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, 1-2 mm long, egg-shaped, surface sandy (granular) and with scattered bumps or pimples, with a medial groove essentially closed or flared open at the base.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe zone; rare in SC and SE BC; S to CO, NV and NE CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References