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Stiffbranch Bird's Beak Back to Plant Page
Cordylanthus rigidus

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About Stiffbranch Bird's Beak (Cordylanthus rigidus) Cordylanthus rigidus is a species of flowering plant in the broomrape family known by the common name stiffbranch bird's beak. It is native to California and northern Baja California, where it grows in many types of habitat from coastal flats to high inland mountains. This is a hairy annual herb growing to maximum heights anywhere from 30 centimeters to 1.5 meters. There are at least four subspecies and possibly natural varieties not distinct enough to be considered subspecies. There is great variety in the appearance of the plant. The stem and foliage vary in color from greenish to yellows and reds; like other members of its family this species is a parasite on other plants so it does not rely entirely on green chlorophyll to produce its own nutrients. Its leaves are linear in shape and 1 to 4 centimeters long. The edges may roll in. The loose flower cluster produces solitary flowers on long stalks. Each hair-covered flower is shaped like a conical bird's beak with leaflike, pointed outer and inner leafs. Tucked inside is the pouched white flower. The whole unit is up to 2 centimeters long. The fruit is a capsule containing dark brown seeds one or two millimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1 - 5 ft (0.3 - 1.5 m)

Native Status

Natural Setting
Part Shade

Elevation ?
4' - 8779'

Annual Precip. ?
6.5" - 59.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.95"

Coldest Month ?
29.1° F - 56.0° F

Hottest Month ?
51.7° F - 82.0° F

Humidity ?
0.47 vpd - 32.72 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Seaside Bird's Beak

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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