Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
Lappula occidentalis var cupulata.
Borage (Boraginaceae) family.
Duration: Annual. Nativity: Native. Lifeform: Forb/Herb. General: Annual herbs, 10-80 cm tall; stems branching above the middle; herbage puberulent or shortly hirsute. Leaves: Alternate; upper leaves sessile and lower leaves on petioles 1-2 cm long; blades linear to oblong, 1- 6 cm long; basal leaves often deciduous. Flowers: Inconspicuous and tiny, on 1-2 mm pedicels and arranged in racemes, each flower subtended by a leaf-like bract; calyx deeply 5-lobed, enlarging to 3 mm long in fruit, the lobes lanceolate and erect in fruit; corolla white to light blue, 2 mm diameter, 5-lobed. Fruits: Nutlets 4 per fruit, each 2-3 mm long, with a single marginal row of prickles, these often swollen and confluent toward the base, forming a cupulate border to the nutlet. Ecology: Found in sunny, usually disturbed sites, roadsides, overgrazed areas, below 8,500 ft (2590 m); flowers March-September. Distribution: Widely distributed throughout much of N. Amer., in every state west of the Mississippi, north to AK and south to n MEX; also in S. America. Notes: A small annual herb, fuzzy all over, with narrow leaves and tiny white to light blue flowers; the fruits are distinctive, being 4 nutlets with marginal, hooked prickles which attach to the socks of passers by. Two varieties are found in Arizona: var. cupulata is a multi-stemmed plant with the nutlet prickles confluent into a swollen, cup-shaped base; var. occidentalis is a single or few-stemmed plant with nutlet prickles slightly confluent at the base but not swollen. Ethnobotany: Navajo use it to make poultice for insect bites and other skin irritations. Etymology: Lappula is the Latin diminutive for lappa, a bur; occidentalis means of the west.
Santa Catalina Mountains.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Location: Bear Canyon Trail 0.2mi from Visitor Center.
Notes: ID confirmed on iNaturalist by Jim Morefield
See SEINet Pictures and Description