[Cryptanths: The Genus Cryptantha East of
the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]
Cushion Cryptantha, Matted Cryptantha
Synonyms: Cryptantha circumscissa var. circumscissa, Cryptantha circumscissa var. hispida, Greeneocharis circumscissa var. circumcissa
The photo above shows a portion of a mat of cushion cryptantha as seen in sandy areas on the east bank of the Columbia River several miles north of Vantage, WA........late June 2006.
photo at right shows the flowers and leaves of cushion cryptantha as seen along
the northern edge of Alkali Lake in central Oregon..........June 24, 2003.
Also known as opening cryptanth, cushion cryptantha is a much-branched
annual that forms mats or cushions from 1-6 cm high and 5-20 cm in diameter.
The branches are ascending, spreading or depressed along the ground. The herbage
consists of coarse, appressed hairs with many ascending or spreading hairs.
The numerous leaves are crowded towards the ends of the branches. They are linear
in shape and measure 5-13 mm long.
The flowers are crowded, solitary, or in the axils of the upper
leaves or in the forks of the branches. The calyx in fruit is only 2-3 mm long.
The tiny corolla varies from 0.5-1.5 mm wide.
Cushion cryptantha may be found at lower elevations on dry, sandy
slopes and plains and in the foothills, although it may be found up to elevations
of 3000 meters in the White Mts. of California.
Cushion cryptantha may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from
central Washington south to Baja California and eastwards to the Snake River
Plains and Salmon River in Idaho. It is also found across much of Nevada, south
of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, in northwestern Colorado, southwestern Wyoming
and in northern and western Arizona. It is also found in Chile and Argentina.
Cushion cryptantha as seen at Fort Rock State Park, Lake County, OR.........May 18, 2016.
The photo at left shows a portion of a mat of cushion cryptantha as seen in sandy areas on the east bank of the Columbia River several miles north of Vantage, WA........late June 2006. The photo at right shows cushion cryptantha on sand flats along the Flatiron Trail, Badlands Wilderness........May 12, 2018.
The photo above shows a close-up sideview of cushion cryptantha as seen along the old Vantage Highway on the east bank of the Columbia River north of Vantage, WA.........April 30, 2007.
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower and leaves of cushion cryptantha as seen along the northern edge of Alkali Lake in central Oregon.........June 24, 2003.