Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page
Plant of the Month - Prickly Popcorn Flower
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|Common Name(s):||Prickly Popcorn Flower|
|Scientific Name:||Cryptantha muricata|
|Size:||up to 36 inches|
|Habitat:||open areas on rocky slopes|
|Blooms:||January to June|
|Fire Response:||Fire Follower|
Prickly Popcorn Flower is an erect branching annual up to 3 feet tall. A field full of this plant in bloom can resemble a dusting of snow.
Small white popcorn-looking flowers form clusters at the ends of main branches. They have 5 petals and yellow centers. Blooming occurs from March through June. Leaves are linear and alternate, upt to 2 inches long. Stems are stout and contain many branches. The plant's foliage is covered with short bristles.
The genus name Cryptantha means "hidden flower", a carryover from another species in the genus whose flowers self-fertilized. The species name muricata means "small spines". There are several other species of Cryptanthas or Popcorn Flowers in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Contributed by Liz Baumann
Originally featured: March 2012
Last modified: May 12 2017 16:41:10.
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
Botanical Terms for Leaves