Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page

Plant of the Month - Eucrypta

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Plant Description

Common Name(s):Eucrypta
Scientific Name:Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia
Family:Boraginaceae
Plant Type:Annual
Size:up to 2 feet, spreads
Habitat:woodland, sage scrub, chaparral
Blooms:January to June

Eucrypta is a low-growing ground-covering plant with fern-like leaves and small dainty white flowers. The foliage is quite branching, covered in hairs and has a vinegary odor. Leaves are 1 to 4 inches long. Loosely-clustered bell-shaped flowers appear at the end of long stems and are about 1/4 inch in diameter.

This unassuming plant is often found lending a splash of spring green to the sides of trails, especially in shady spots that have seen some recent trail tread maintenance. In addition to disturbed ground, it is also more abundant in areas which have recently burned. Eucrypta can be found blooming from February to June, up to 3000 feet elevation.

The name Eucrypta stands for "true secret", referring to the plant's hidden seeds. Chrysanthemifolia is for its resemblance to Chrysanthemums.

The photos on this page were taken on February 2, 2008, along the Phantom Trail in Malibu Creek State Park. Just a few were in bloom, but more should follow.

Contributed by Liz Baumann

Other Similar Plants:
Large-Flowered Phacelia Phacelia grandiflora
Yerba Santa Eriodichtyon crassifolium
Parry’s Phacelia Phacelia parryi
Fiesta Flower Pholistoma auritum
Prickly Popcorn Flower Cryptantha muricata
Common Fiddleneck Amsinckia intermedia
Fern-Leaf Phacelia Phacelia distans
Whispering Bells Emmenanthe penduliflora
Wild Heliotrope Heliotropium curassavicum

Originally featured: February 2008
Last modified: October 14 2017 16:38:00.
References:
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Images Botanical Terms for Leaves