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Comandra umbellata
  

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About (Comandra umbellata) Comandra is a monotypic genus containing the single species Comandra umbellata. Its common names include bastard toadflax, umbellate bastard toadflax, and common comandra. The plant has a disjunct distribution; its four subspecies occur in North America and the Mediterranean. Comandra is a perennial herb growing about 8 to 34 cm tall. The leaves are up to 3. 3 cm long and are alternately arranged. The flowers lack petals, but have five greenish-white sepals. The flowers are insect-pollinated. The fruit is a drupe. Subspecies include:C. u. ssp. californica - California bastard toadflaxC. u. ssp. pallida - pale bastard toadflax, pine bastard toadflaxC. u. ssp. umbellataC. umbellata is semiparasitic; it is not holoparasitic as it obtains some nutrition through photosynthesis. It has a wide host range, parasitizing over 200 known plant species. These include Aster, Antennaria, Solidago, Rosa, Rubus, Fragaria, Vaccinium, Acer, Betula, Populus, Carex, and some grasses. Uses. A decoction of the plant parts was made by the Navajo people for narcotic and other medicinal usage. In times of food shortage, the berries were used by Native Americans as a food source, and though small, they have a sweet taste. Pathogens. C. umbellata is the alternate host for the comandra blister rust (Cronartium comandrae), a rust fungus that affects pine species in North America. Comandra blister rust can cause tree losses of up to 7% in some regions where it is common. When C. umb is infected by the rust aeciospores from the pine host, yellow, blister-like spots bearing urediniospores appear on the leaves of the plant within 20 days. In the following weeks, teliospores develop on brown, hairlike telia that germinate to produce basidiospores, the fungal life stage capable of infecting pines.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
156' - 11077'

Annual Precip. ?
5.1" - 80.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.33" - 2.24"

Coldest Month ?
24.2° F - 52.0° F

Hottest Month ?
45.9° F - 79.3° F

Humidity ?
0.59 vpd - 30.15 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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