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Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Annual Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Small plant sprouting from sandy soil

General: Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea) is an upright annual forb with 3-part leaves. The compact bundles of flowers are yellow and borne in the leaf axils.

Spiny Caper is a rare component of desert vegetation communities on sandy and gravely alkaline soils. Around Las Vegas, look for this species in the bottom of Death Valley, the only place it grows.

Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)

Family: Caper (Capparaceae).

Other Names:

Plant Form: Upright annual.

Height: Usually about 20 inches, to about 4 feet.

Stems: One, upright.

Leaves: Compound, palmate, leaflets 3; blades to about 3 inches, elliptical, entire.

Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)

Flowers: Heads occur in leaf axils, forming tight ball of flowers to about 1-inch diameter, sessile.


Habitat: Sandy and gravely alkaline desert flats.

Elevation: To about 1,000 ft.

Distribution: California and western Nevada (Death Valley and Amargosa Desert areas).


Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea) Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea) Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Yellow flowers
Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Old, dried plant standing about 2-1/2 feet tall
Spiny Caper (Oxystylis lutea)
Flower buds
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 140413

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