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California Sun Cup
Camissoniopsis bistorta

About California Sun Cup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) Camissonia bistorta is a species of flowering plant in the evening primrose family known by the common names southern suncup and California suncup. It is native to southern California and Baja California, where it grows in several types of plant community along the coast and in the coastal hills and mountain ranges. This is a hairy annual or perennial herb spreading from a basal rosette with stems reaching up to 80 centimeters long. Leaves are lance-shaped to narrowly arrowhead-shaped and sometimes toothed, and 1 to 12 centimeters in length. Toward the end of the spreading stems are nodding flower clusters of flowers, each flower with four bright yellow petals dotted with red at their bases. At the center are stamens and a protruding, nearly spherical stigma. The fruit is a straight or slightly coiled capsule up to 4 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1.6 - 2.6 ft (0.49 - 0.8 m)

Flower Color
Yellow, Red

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy fields or clay soils in grassy places


Elevation ?
0' - 8348'

Annual Precip. ?
4.3" - 37.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.69"

Coldest Month ?
31.9° F - 58.7° F

Hottest Month ?
57.6° F - 86.5° F

Humidity ?
1.24 vpd - 39.26 vpd

Fast, Medium, Slow

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Camissonia bistorta

Common Names
California Suncup, Southern Suncup

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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