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Monterey Spineflower Back to Plant Page
Chorizanthe pungens
  

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About Monterey Spineflower (Chorizanthe pungens) Chorizanthe pungens is a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family known by the common name Monterey spineflower. It is endemic to California, where it is known from the San Francisco Bay Area south along the Central Coast. It grows mainly in coastal habitat and that of the hills and mountains overlooking the coastline. This is a generally erect but sometimes spreading or prostrate plant with stems up to half a meter in length. It is green to gray to red in color and usually hairy in texture. The leaves are located at the base of the plant; there are also bracts along the stem at the bases of the inflorescences which look like leaves. The inflorescence is a dense cluster of flowers, each flower surrounded by six white to pink hairy bracts tipped in hooked awns. The flower itself is only a few millimeters wide with jagged tepals. Varieties: There are two varieties of this species:var. pungens is the more commonvar. hartwegiana is known only from the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Santa Cruz. This variety, known as the Ben Lomond spineflower, is treated as a federally listed endangered species. It is found in the same type of unique habitat, known as the Zayante sandhills, as other local rare endemic life forms such as the Ben Lomond wallflower Erysimum teretifolium and the Zayante band-winged grasshopper Trimerotropis infantilis. Threats to this plant and other endemic species include the destruction of the local habitat during sand mining.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Flower Color
White, Pink

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
7' - 2333'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 57.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 0.63"

Coldest Month ?
43.8° F - 50.4° F

Hottest Month ?
57.6° F - 76.2° F

Humidity ?
0.41 vpd - 24.37 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available


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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