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Calyptridium monandrum
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Pussy Paws
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Calyptridium monandrum

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About Pussy Paws (Calyptridium monandrum) Cistanthe monandra (formerly Calyptridium monandrum) is a species of flowering plant in the purslane family known by the common name Common Pussypaws. It is native to the southwestern United States and adjacent Baja California, where it grows in sandy areas such as deserts and coastal and mountain scrub habitats. This is a fleshy, flat annual herb producing short stems which extend along the ground or spread upright from a small taproot. Thick, spoon-shaped leaves occur in a basal rosette at the base of the stem, reaching up to about 5 centimeter in length. There are smaller leaves along the stems. Small flower clusters sprout from the stem bearing many flowers, each with fleshy, triangular sepals and three pink or red petals only a few millimeters long. The fruit is a translucent, oblong capsule up to six millimeters long containing several shiny, black seeds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb, Perennial herb

Max. Height
7.2 in (18.3 cm)

Flower Color
Pink, Red

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy places, open places, burned places,


Elevation ?
7' - 8732'

Annual Precip. ?
3.2" - 51.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 3.07"

Coldest Month ?
27.5° F - 59.9° F

Hottest Month ?
50.2° F - 88.3° F

Humidity ?
0.84 vpd - 40.59 vpd


Landscaping Information
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Pussypaws

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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