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Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Perennial Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

General: Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata) is a desert perennial forb or subshrub that grows from rhizomes. The stems are upright, and the leaves are lanceolate, alternate, and sessile. Four- and five-part flowers are produced in cymes arising from the upper leaf axils. Fruits are small drupes (like a cherry) with persistent floral parts.

Bastard Toadflax is a fairly common component of desert vegetation communities on sandy and gravely soils in canyons and hillsides in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland), Transition (Yellow Pine Forest), Canadian (Pine-Fir Forest), Hudsonian (Bristlecone Forest) and Arctic (Alpine Tundra) life zones. Around Las Vegas, look for this species in Red Rock Canyon NCA and and up in the mountains (Mt. Charleston, Sheep Range).

Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

Family: Sandalwood (Santalaceae).

Other Names: Bastard-toadflax.

Plant Form: Perennial forb, subshrub with upright stems from rhizomes.

Height: To about 18 inches.

Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

Stems: Mostly upright.

Leaves: Alternate, lanceolate, to about 2 inches long, tips pointed.

Flowers: Blooms during spring and early summer. Inflorescence: cyme. Flowers: Four or five white petals fused at the base; sometimes a touch of pink or brown in the flowers.

Seeds: Fruit is a small drupe (fleshy with a large seed inside). Floral parts sometimes remain attached to the end of the fruit.

Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

Habitat: Desert washes, hillsides, canyons, and bajadas into the higher mountains.

Elevation: About 1,000 to 10,000 feet.

Distribution: Throughout North America.

Comments:

Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Leaves along stem
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Upper (top) an lower (bottom) surfaces of the leaves
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Flowers
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Flowers. Notice that some flowers have four petals, while others have five
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Clusters of flowers branch off from the main flower stalk
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Leaves and flowers
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Flowers
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Five-part flower
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Developing fruit
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Dried fruits attached to plant
Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata)
Fruits found on the ground;
notice that flower parts remain attached to the fruit
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141109

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